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. . LIBRARY . . 

Agricultural College, 


CLASSN0.5'14.:4>.9^ M 

DATE lUflU-M^ 

7' 19 It 



3 1153 oDiaaiso 2 


Hugh Rees, Ltd. 

Military and Naval Booksellers, 
Stationers and Publishers 


Military and Naval Books of all descriptions are 
kept in stock and can be supplied without delay. 

Field Message Books, Mathematical Instruments, 

Clinometers, Compasses, Sketching Boards, and 

Military Stationery of all kinds. 

Catalogues Post Free. 

Telephone : BEGENT 2190. Telegrams : HURHYS. LONDON 













R. B. H. 




1. Landscape Sketches . 

2. The Technique of Sketching 


1. Scales .... 


2. Conventional Signs . 

. 19 

3. Contours and Contouring . 


4. Lettering .... 

. 42 

5. Map Enlargement 


G. Sketching by Eye 


7. Military Sketches . 


8. Map Reading 



1. The Compass and Protractor 

2. Marching by Compass 

3. The Compass in Map Making 

4. Trench Plans . 






Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


A KNOWLEDGE of Military Topography is essential to military studies 
and military operations. It is not necessary, however, for every officer 
to be able to make accurate maps of country hitherto indifferently 
mapped, or not mapped at all ; that is the work of specialists. 

All officers must be a])le to read a map, and all officers should be 
proficient in field sketching ; this book, therefore, is primarily in- 
tended to explain all that is necessary for officers of the various 
services to know of the subject. Efficiency will be the result of 
■constant practice. 

It must not be imagined that it is necessary to be an accom- 
plished draughtsman, or to be the possessor of elaborate instruments 
to make a map or a panorama sketch. It is not. Draughtsmen 
may be tempted to think too much of the drawing at the expense of 
the military value of the sketch, and elaborate instruments are quite 

Clearness and accuracy are essential for military sketching, and 
•can be acquired by all. 

A description of the use of the prismatic compass has been 
included, as it is so closely allied with map work. 




Scales for Military Maps .... 
Expressing the Scale .... 
Important Figures ..... 
Construction of Scales .... 







2. Conventional Signs 


Contours and Contouring 

Methods of showing Hill Features 

Contours . 

Reading Contours 


Slopes and Gradients 

Visibility of Points . 


Types of Lettering 
System of Lettering 

5. Map Enlargement 

The Object 

Methods of Enlarging 
Instruments and Materials 
Filling in the Detail 
Completing the Sketch 





Sketching by Eye 

Sketches of Positions 
Road Sketches 


7. Military Sketches 

General Principles , 
Special Information 


Map Reading 

Proficiency in Map Reading 
Characteristics of Maps 
Setting a Map . . . . 

Resection . . , . 

Maps and the Ground 
Visualising Country 
Reference to Positions on Maps 




All maps and military sketches are drawn to scale. 

A scale denotes the proportion which distances on the map bear 
to the actual distances on the ground. If one could imagine a 
drawing made in a stationary balloon on a sheet of glass let into 
the floor of the basket the principles of a scale would become 
evident. If the glass were 4 in. square and the area of country seen 
beneath and drawn on the glass 4 miles square, the drawing would be 
to a scale of 1 in. to 1 mile. If the balloon descended and 1 mile 
square of country be seen and drawn, the scale would then be 4 in. to 
1 mile. 

The necessity for scales is obvious. By their use it is possible to 
show any area of country — large or small — to any size required. A 
scale must be attached to every map or sketch, and the moment a 
map is opened the scale must be examined so that the length of 
actual ground represented by any distance on the map may be 

Scales in the United Kingdom, India and Canada are in inches 
and miles. Scales on foreign maps and (in principle) on the maps 
of the British African colonies are metrical. 

Scales for Military Maps. 

When about to make a map or plan the first thing to decide 
upon is the scale to be adopted, and to draw it out at the bottom of 
the paper is the next step. 

Scales are known as " Small Scales " and " Large Scales." Small 
scales are scales of miles to the inch, and are shown in miles and 
fractions of a mile. Strategical maps are drawn to small scales. 
Large scales are scales of inches to the mile, and are shown in tens, 


hundreds, and tliousands of yards. Such scales are used for tactical 
purposes where ranges must be ascertained and indicated. 

The scale of a map muSt be regulated according to the area of 
country to be shown, the object of the sketch, and the amount of 
detail required. 

The following are the scales usually adopted in military 
sketching : — 

Large tracts of country Scales of | in. and 1 in. to the mile. 
Roads, Rivers, etc. . „ 1 in. to 4 in. „ 

Outpost and other 

positions . . „ 1 in. to 6 in. „ 

Towns and Villages to 
be placed in a state 

of defence . . ,, ^ in- to 10 in. „ 

Billeting Areas, Bi- 
vouacs, etc. . . ,, 4 in. to 12 in. „ 

On Army Book 153 the area of country that can be shown to 
different scales, leaving the minimum amount of room for the 
necessary heading, scale and signature, is as follows : — 

Scale 1 in. to 1 mile . . . C x 4| miles. 

„ 4 in. ,, . . 2500 x 2000 yards. 

„ ' 6 in. „ ... 1600 X 1300 ^ „ 

„ 10 in. „ ... 1000 X 800 „ 

„ 12 in. „ ... 850 x 650 „ 

If a sketch must be made very hurriedly and under difficult 
conditions, and, although its relative proportions are correct, it has no 
definite scale, it is customary to mark off distinctly and figure some 
known length of road, river, fence or any other feature. This will 
show the proportion the sketch bears to the ground (see Plate XIV.). 

Expressing the Scale. 

Scales are expressed in three ways, and all three must be shown. 

1. The Statement of Scale. 

A statement of the number of inches to the mile, miles to the 



inch, centimetres to the kilometre, etc. British maps are usually 
known by the "statement," such as "J in.," "1 in." or "6 in." maps. 

2. The Representative Fraction. 

This is usually written R.F. The E.F. means the proportion 
any unit on the map bears to the actual length on the ground 
represented by that unit, or, in other words, the number of times 
lengths on the map are smaller than the real lengths on the ground. 
It is understood in all languages and with all methods of measurement. 
It can be described as : 

rnit on Map ^ ^^ ^.^ .^ Map 

Length of ground represented by that unit' ' Ground. 

The " Unit on Map " is always 1. Both " Map " and '' Ground " 
must be shown in the same unit of measure whether inches, yards, 
centimetres or oiiles. If the unit of the map is 1 in., then the 
length represented by that unit 1 in. must also be shown in inches ; if 
the unit of the map is a centimetre, then the length of actual ground 
represented by that centimetre must also be shown in centimetres. 

If, on a road, the distance between two bridges is 1000 yds. and 
this is shown on the map as 3 in., then : — 

3 in. [Map] 3 1_ 

1000^ [Ground ( x 36 to bring to inches)] ~ 1000 x 36 ~ 12,000 
= R.F. of the map. 

If it were desii'ed to make a map or plan of a room 60 ft. x 30 ft. 
on a piece of notepaper, say, 3 J in. x 7 in., a convenient scale to use 
would be one of 10 ft. to 1 in., then 60 ft. x 30 ft. would be shown 
on the paper as 6 in. x 3 in., and, as there are 120 in. in 10 ft., the 

R.F. of the plan would be — — , or, as it may be written, 1 : 120. 

Continental maps are generally known by the R.Fs., such as the 
•' so^^-o-o'" " ToobFo " <"• " iTo^ " '"^PS- The R.F. on a foreign 
map is a great convenience, as from it can be shown with little 
trouble the corresponding English scale. An example will be shown 
of the method of constructing a scale graduated in English units for 
a map, the scale of which is metrical, making use of the R.F. 


3. The Plain Scale. 

This is the scale which is actually drawn out at the foot of a 
drawing (Plate I), and one from which measurements can be taken 
by dividers, paper and pencil, or, approximately, the fingers. It 
should be from 4 to 6 in. long for a military sketch — the full length 
of the page according to which way the book is used — so that the 
greatest length required can be readily measured off. The portion 
on the right of zero is split up into primary divisions — the large 
units of measure, and the portion on the left shows the secondary 
divisions or smaller units. 

The unit of measure for the scale must always be stated at the 
end of the line. 

Before attempting the construction of scales the following figures 
should be studied, as by committing a few of them to memory the 
drawing out of scales is greatly simplified. 

Important Figures. 

1 geographical mile = 1*152 statute miles. 60 geographical 
miles = 1 degree at the equator. 

1 mile - 1760 yards = 5280 feet = 63,360 inches. 

1 metre = 39*4 inches. 1 inch = 2*54 centimetres. 

100 metres = 328 feet. 1 kilometre =-- 1093 yard, approxi- 
mately f mile. 

1 verst = 1167 yards, or '663 miles. (Russian measure.) 

English Maps. 

Scale of 2 miles to 1 in =^ P.F 


Scale of 1 in. to 1 mile = R.F. ^ ^^ . 


Scale of 4 in. to 1 mile = R.F. - ^ ^,^ . 


Scale of 6 in. to 1 mile = R.F. 

Scale of 10 in to 1 mile = R.F. tt^ttt.. 




Continental Maps. 

R.F. ' - 10 cm. to 1 km. = 6 '34 in. to 1 mile. 

J. U J wUU 

E.F. = 5 cm. to 1 km. = 3'17 in. to 1 mile. 

^U J uuu 

^'^- ^. ^^ = 4 cm. to 1 km. = 2*53 in. to 1 mile. 

R.F. =2-5 cm. to 1 km. = 1*58 in. to 1 mile. 


R.F. = 2 cm. to 1 km. = 126 in. to 1 mile. 


^•F. T^TTWT^ = 1-25 cm. to 1 km. = 1*26 mile to 1 in. 

R.F. = 1 cm. to 1 km. = 1*58 mile to 1 in. 

-L UU 5 v'UU 

P^.F. rrr— — - = " 3 verst '* map = 1-988 mile to 1 in. 

Jl^d , UUU 

T"^-^'- .^^ .^ - = 2 km. to 1 cm. = 3*16 miles to 1 in. 

R.F. :— r ^ -,, = 2-5 km. to 1 cm. = 3-94 miles to 1 in. 

International Map,^ 

R.F. —- = 10 km. to 1 cm. = 15 '70 miles to 1 in. 


Construction of Scales. 

The following examples should explain all that it is necessary to 
know in working out scales for military maps and sketches. Scales 
should be neatly, accurately and firmly drawn with a finely pointed 
pencil, but as they must often be made under most unfavourable 
conditions in the field, it is wise to practise making them without 























J3 . 









any instruments ; instruments such as dividers are, in fact, quite 
unnecessary. A piece of paper, marked to the desired length, and 
then carefully folded in the centre, will always divide a line equally, 
and by doing this as often as may be required, and also sub-dividing 
by trial, any scale can be made with sufficient accuracy. 

1. To construct a scale of 4 in. to 1 mile (Plate I, 1). As this 
is a scale of inches to the mile, and, therefore, a " large scale," it 
must be constructed to show yards. ^Ye know that 4 in. will equal 
1760 yds., but, although 4 in. would be a suitable length for a sca'e, 
it would be a difficult matter to sub-divide the line into 1760 parts 
or components of that number, such as would be suitable for a scale, 
A round number is always desirable for simplicity in sub-dividing. 
If we tried 2000 it would mean a line longer than 4 in., but obviously 
not longer than 6 in., and therefore satisfactory. 2000 would also 
be a number that could be easily divided into hundreds or multiples 
of a hundred yards. 

If 1700^ = 4 in. 


,.^ ^ 4x2000 oO , ., . 
2uOU^ = ,_, = — = 4-y4 in. 
1/60 11 

Draw a line and mark off a distance of 4*54 in. On a piece of 
paper tick off the length of this line, and fold carefully so that the 
two ticks exactly coincide. The fold will give 1000 yds. Refolding 
half the paper will give us 500 yds. Mark the left-hand tick 500,. 
the next 0, then 500, and then 1000 and 1500 at the end. From 
to 1500 is the primary portion of the scale. The left-hand portion 
to show secondary divisions is divided into hundreds of yards. Thi?? 
is done by trial, and the fifties can be shown in the same way. The 
secondary divisions can now be figured. 

To complete the scale the unit of measure, yards, must be stated 
at one end, and just above the scale must be printed the "Statement" 
and R.F. 


By this method any English scale can — when necessary — be 

2. To find the Statement of Scale from the R.F. of a map. 
Small scales are scales of miles to the inch, and large scales are 

scales of inches to the mile. The R.F. denotes a scale of 

bo , ooO 

1 mile to 1 inch, or, as it may be put, 1 inch to 1 mile. A fraction 

smaller than ^^ ^^^^ therefore will denote a small scale and a larger 

fraction a large scale. 

(a) R.F. „^ ^^„ ; find the Statement of Scale (in English 

This is a small scale, therefore divide 100,000 by 63,860 — the 
number of inches in a mile — and the an.swer will be miles to the 
inch. 100,000 ^ 63,360 = 1*58 miles to 1 in. 

{b) R.F. ^- „ ^ ; find the Statement of Scale (in English 
measure. ' 

This is a large scale, therefore divide 63,360 by 25,000, and the 
answer will be inches to the mile. 63,360 ^ 25,000 = 2'53 in. 
to the mile. 

3. To construct a scale of r — --^^ to show yards. The R.F. is 

80,000 -^ 

1 : 80,000, therefore 1 yd. on the map = 80,000 yds. on the ground. 
One-sixth of a yard — 6 in. — is of course a suitable length for a 
scale, but one-sixth of 80,000 gives a very awkward number. One- 
eighth of a yard — 4^ in. — is a convenient length, and an eighth of 
80,000 is 10,000, a good round number. Draw a line 4J in. long, 
and by the method of folding paper and trial subdivisions divide 
into 10 parts, and the scale can be drawn as shown (Plate I, 2). 
The primary divisions show thousands of yards and the secondary 

4. To construct a scale of to show yards. Since 1 yd. 

20,000 -^ ^ 

or 36 in. equals 20,000 yds., 6 in. will equal 3333*3 yds. Again a 


round number 
length of scale. 

is essential, 
20,000^ = 

3000X = 

and 3000 would probably 

: 36 in. 

36 X 3000 ^,, . 

give a 



A line 5*4 in. long is drawn. This line cannot readily be 
divided into three parts (to show thousands of yards) by folding 
paper, so it must be done by trial, and the scale is finished as in the 
previous examples (Plate I, 3). 

In such examples as (4) it is necessary to draw a line to one or 
two places of decimals in length. Such a line must be taken from 
the diagonal scale on the service protractor. If a protractor is not 
available it is better to work out these scales by considering the R.F. 
as being in feet. 

5. To construct a scale of , _ ^ . ^ to show yards. 


1 ft. on the map = 40,000 ft. on the ground, 
therefore 6 in. „ = 20,000 ft. 

Draw a line 6 in. long, divide it into 20 equal parts each equalling 
1000 ft., and mark off every 3000 ft. and figure as 1000 yds. 
Complete the scale by showing division of 100 yds. on the left or 
secondary portion of the scale. 

6. To construct a scale of yards from the E.F. of any Conti- 
nental Map. 

R.F. (say) 1 : 50,000. 1^ = 50,000^ 

36 in. = 50,000^ 
Divide both sides by 10, then 3-6 in. = 5,000^ 

A line 3 • 6 in. long is drawn and divided into 5 parts. To make 
the scale the required length, 1, 2, 3 or more lengths representing 
1000^ are added. 


7. To make a scale of 6 in. to 1 mile from the service protractor. 
On the service protractor will be found a scale of 2 in. to 1 mile to 
show hundreds of yards. 300 yds. to this scale will equal 100 yds. to 
a scale of G in. to 1 mile. Place the protractor on the paper and 
mark off every 300 yds. up to 1500 to show the secondary division 
500 to 0. 3000 and 4500 will show the primary divisions of 500 
and 1000, and the scale can be completed (Plate I, 4). N.B. — The 
primary divisions of the scale might equally well show hundreds 
of yards, and the secondary tens. The R.F. is easily arrived at. 
To a scale of 1 in. to 1 mile, 1 in. on the map equals 63,360 in. 
on the ground. For the scale of 6 in. to 1 mile, 6 in. on the 
map equals 63,360 in. on the ground ; therefore 1 in. will equal 

10,560 in. R.P.^-^--L. 

Time and Comparative scales are occasionally useful. Compara- 
tive scales are those having the same E.F. but with different 
graduations. A scale to show both paces and yards would be an 
example (Plate XV.). 

8. To construct a scale to show paces — Scale of Sketch already 
shown. Assume the length of a pace to be 30 in. A pace, then, 
equals -| of a yard, and 600 paces will equal 500 yds. Below the 
scale of yards of the sketch mark off lengths of 500 yds., and divide 
each length into 6 parts each representing 100 paces. For the 
secondary portion of the scale mark off a length of 100 paces and 
divide up to show every 10 paces. At the end of the scale the unit 
of measure — paces — must be printed. 

A scale of paces can be similarly made for any length of pace. 

9. Time scales are of use when covering large areas of ground on 
horseback. The rate at which a horse walks, trots or canters is 
known, and a scale can be constructed to show how much ground 
has been covered in a given time. Suppose a map is to be made, on 
horseback, to show a certain tract of country to a scale of 4 in. to 
1 mile. A horse trots at 8 miles an hour. 1 mile therefore will be 
covered in 7^ minutes. To the required scale 1 mile equals 4 in. 
Draw a line 4 in. long and divide into 15 parts each of which will 


show a half minute. Working from left to ri^ht, mark off every 
second division, and these will represent minutes. Five minutes thus 
subdivided will show the secondary divisions, and further length 
-equal to 5 minutes are marked off to complete the scale (Plate I, 5). 

Time and Distance scales are also of use for infantry on the 
march. To make a time scale for a body of troops marching at the 
Tate of 2J miles an hour, including halts, for a map to a scale of 
2 miles to the inch. On the scale for the map tick off a length of 
■2f miles. This will represent the distance covered in 1 hour. Divide 
into 6 parts, each representing 10 minutes, and subdivide again to 
show every 5 minutes, and the "secondary" portion of the scale is 
complete. Tick off to the right further lengths of 2J miles, and 
representing 1 hour, for the "primary" portion, and the scale is 
made. By this method a time scale can be added to the scale of 
any map for the movement of any troops. 

On the service protractor will be found scales of J in., 1 in., 2 in. 
and 2 J in. to the mile showing hundreds of yards. On it will also be 
found scales showing both yards and miles for the R.Fs. 1 : 80,000, 
1 : 100,000 and 1 : 250,000. From these scales most of the scales likely 
to be used can be made. From the 2 in. scale 3 in., 4 in., 6 in. (as 
already explained), 8 in., and 12 in. scales can be constructed, and 
from the 2J in. scales of 5 in. and 10 in. to the mile. From the 
scale for 1 : 80,000 one can make scales the R.Fs. of which are 
1 : 40,000, 1 : 20,000 and 1 : 10,000, and from the 1 : 100,000 scales 
for 1 : 50,000 and 1 : 25,000. 

A large scale such as 10 yds. to the inch can be made from the 
service protractor, using the diagonal scale. Each inch on the right- 
hand portion of the protractor will show the primary division of 
10 yds., and the tenths on the left will give the smaller unit — 1 yd. 
— 'for the secondary portion of the scale. Any scale of yards to the 
inch can be readily drawn in a similar manner. 

Army Book 153 is ruled with ^ in. squares ; with it, therefore, 
it is easy to show fractions of a mile for various scales, and to show 
yards for scales of yards to the inch. For such scales as 20, 40 or 
100 yds. to the inch each J in. square would represent lengths of 



5, 10 or 25 yds., and so on, and the secondary portion of a scale is 
easily constructed. Eleven squares to a scale of 4 in. to 1 mile 
approximately =1200 yds., and to a scale of 6 in. to 1 mile = 
800 yds., good round numbers to deal with, and ones easily divided 
into hundreds of yards. 

Distances in field sketching are usually transferred from the scale 
to the map by ticking off on a piece of paper, which can be folded 
and refolded to give a clean edge. It may sometimes be convenient 
to have the scale on a separate piece of paper while working, If this 
be done, when the sketch is complete the scale must, of course, be 
copied at the bottom of the map. 



The conventional signs used in field sketching difPer slightly 
from those used on published maps, the former being naturally 
simpler to draw. 

In the accompanying plates the signs shown are those which are 
in general use in the preparation of field sketches. The conventional 
signs used on Ordnance maps (which vary according to the scale), 
Continental maps, and maps specially prepared for trench warfare, 
are generally shown, with explanations, at the foot of the respective 

The clearness of a sketch map — which is all important — will 
depend largely upon the way the various conventional signs are 
shown ; practice, therefore, in drawing them out neatly and accu- 
rately is most essential. 

Care must be taken to keep the conventional signs "in scale." 
One of the greatest difficulties is the tendency to make the various 
symbols too large, quite irrespective of the scale to which the map 
is drawn. All the symbols must be relatively correct in size and 
proportionate to the scale of the map, and the paper should be so 
held that when drawn they read the right way up. 

Many of the conventional signs are shown in colour. In the 
field chalks are generally used, the colour being shown by lines 
drawn across the space to be coloured in the case of woods, and by 
one or two rings in the case of ponds and lakes, rather than filling 
in the area solid. The greasy nature of the chalks makes it im- 
possible to write over paper coloured solidly. 

It will usually be necessary to supplement the conventional signs 
by notes. 

If at any time it is thought necessary to supply some new 

B -2 


symbol— which is quite permissible— the meaning must be explained 
by marginal reference. 

Roads (Plate II. (1)) are shown by firm continuous lines when 
enclosed by any obstacle, wall, ditch, fence or iron railing. A note 
should state the nature of the obstacle. When unenclosed the road 
is shown by dotted lines. If there is any considerable space between 
the fence and the metalled portion of the road, the road will be 
shown with dotted lines, and lines for the fences will also Ije drawn 
in the proper positions. Roads which have 14 ft. of good metalled 
surface are called first-class roads and are coloured light brown. 
The width of metalled surface should be figured. Roads indifferently 
metalled and likely to be cut up in bad weather are dotted brown, 
and unmetalled roads are uncoloured. Unfenced cart tracks are 
shown by dotted lines, and a single dotted line denotes a footpath. 

Rivers (2) are shown by blue lines. If of greater width than 
12 ft. double lines are used. An arrow indicates the direction of the 
flow. Streams which have run dry are shown by black lines. Lakes 
and ponds are shown at (3). The colour, if chalk, should be put 
on in rings. Bridges are shown at (4). The materials of which 
they are constructed should be noted. (5) is the conventional sign 
for a bridge with piers. A ford or ferry is shown by note. 

Railivays (6). — Railways are shown by thick black Hnes with 
occasional short cross lines. Xote must be made whether single or 
double. When passing through a tunn-el the lines are dotted. (7) shows 
telegraph wires. A cutting is shown at (8), and an embankment at 
(9). Note thicker ends of short lines are next the higher ground. 

Trees. — All trees except coniferous trees are shown as at (10), 
though poplar trees may be shown as at (13). Coniferous trees are 
shown at (11). On a map to a scale of 4 in. = 1 mile approxi- 
mately one tree would be drawn to represent every six or eight on 
the ground (Plate YIL). For orchards the trees are regularly 
spaced (12). 

Woods. — A wood is shown at (14). The name or any charac- 
teristic feature of the wood is printed on, and green lines are drawn 
diagonally across to fill the remainder of the space. Trees are drawn 
in addition if time permits. 


Metalled RcM-'Feocei-x 


rrea /v/- Trees y!a OfcAord Poplar Tre^s 

, a* 

<N""', I, 



A, .. 

^- ^ 

//eM ® 



/fok ® 


Heath. — The conventional sign for a heath is shown at (15). 
The double rows of ticks are used to denote furze and whins. 

3farsh. — The conventional sign — in blue — for a marsh is shown 
at (Ifi). 

ViUages. — On small scale maps, such as those of 1 in. to 1 mile, 
villages are shown as at Plate III. (17). On large scale maps the 
individual buildings are shown (1^^). 

Quarries. — A quarry is shown on fig. (17), and a sand (or gravel 
pit) on fig. (10). 

Builduigs (20) shows the symbols for churches. Inns, post 
offices, etc., have no special symbols, but are shown by note. P. de- 
notes a post office and T. telegraph. "Windmills, windpumps and 
wells are shown as at (21). 

Obstacles. — The conventional sign for obstacles is shown at {'2'2). 

Demolitions. — Areas that have been demolished are shown by 
diagonal red lines (23). 

Fortifications. — Fortified towns and cities are shown by the 
symbol (24). A single fort is shown by one irregular pentagon. 

Troops (25) shows the signs used for different formations of the 
various arms. Arms having no special symbol can be shown as for 
infantry with letters, e.g. R.E. Enemy forces are shown in blue. 
Ticks show in which direction the troops face or are moving. 

Trenches. — Fire trenches are shown with a thick red line (26). 
If traversed the fire-bays may be indicated. Communicating and 
other trenches are shown with a thin red line. Breastwork is shown 
by a thick and thin red line (27). 

Enemifs Tracks. — These are denoted by three dotted red lines (28). 

Entanglements. — Barbed wire entanglements are shown as at (29), 
the single line on small scale maps and the crossed lines on large 
scale maps and sketches. Chevaux-de-frise as at (30). 

Gun Emjjlacements. — An emplacement for a field gan is shown 
at (31), for a machine gun at (32). A trench mortar is shown by a 
double ring and dot. 

Ground Cut up by Artillery Fire is shown by a stippling of red 
dots (33). 


Other symbols are given on Plate XYI., together with sec- 
tions and small hand sketches, which are valuable additions to 
maps and may be shown, with the necessary notes at the foot of the 


Many features of military importance can be shown by note only. 

Conventional signs should, when necessary, be supplemented by 
notes, which must be clear, legible and always relevant to the objects 
for which the map is being made. 

One of the chief considerations in making a map is that it shall 
be easily read. Overcrowding the face of the sketch with notes must 
therefore be avoided, and notes, if numerous, may be placed in the 
margin with a line and arrow head pointing to the feature referred 
to. The best method, however, is to tabulate as many notes as 
possible at the foot of the sketch and use a reference number or 
letter (Plate XVII.) 

Information can be given by note only upon such points as the 
following : — 

The Ground Generally. — Whether broken up and affording good 
cover. Obstacles to free movement of troops, guns, etc. Dead 
ground. Field of fire. Nature of crops in fields. Commanding 

Roads. — Width. Condition of metalling. Nature and height of 
fences. G-radients. Ease of deployment. 

Rivers. — Width and depth. Condition of banks. Liability to 
flood, etc. 

Marshes. — Nature and extent. 

Raihvays. — Single or double. Suitability for marching troops. 

Bridges. — Width. Materials. Weight of traffic carried, etc. 

Culverts. — Width. Thickness of crown. Span. 

Woods. — Whether dense or open. Nature of undergrowth. 
Whether passable to any or all arms. Cover. 

Fences. — Of what material constructed. Height. Value as an 
obstacle or as giving cover. 

Buildings. — Suitability for defence. Cellars. Observation posts. 




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Trench Mortar 

Cdevaax demise ® ^ '^^^J^^A;-'' 



Methods of Showing Hill Features. 

The real nature of any tract of country, however carefully and 
accurately it may be mapped, is not shown unless the hills and 
Talleys and the varying levels and undulations of the ground are 

Maps for strategical or tactical purposes are valueless unless 
showing the conformation of the ground, and with the exception of 
sketches made to show billeting areas or buildings, no field sketch 
can be said to be complete unless the varying levels of the land are 

Hill features are shown by two distinct methods : — Hachures 
and Contours. Both methods are frequently combined, or other 
features introduced, in order that the hills and low-lying ground 
may be readily distinguished. 

Hachures, — The method of hachuring might be described as the 
extensive and systematic use of the conventional sign for embank- 
ments. The hachures are short disconnected lines drawn in such a 
way as would more or less indicate the direction taken by water in 
flowing from the higher to the lower parts of the ground. The 
flatter the ground, the longer and further apart the hachures are ; 
the steeper the slope, the shorter and closer. Summits having an 
-almost perpendicular rise are shown by the conventional signs for- 
rocks and escarpments, and the tops of hills which are flattish are 
left, like the low-lying ground, white. 

The use of hachures is more general on Continental maps, and is 
best suited to maps of very small scale. It has the advantage of 


showing at a glance the positions of hills and valleys, but it has the- 
disadvantage of somewhat obscuring, especially in very hilly country^ 
the detail of the map. It does not show any heights with exact- 
ness, and numerous spot levels on the map must be studied in 

Contours. — Contour lines are representations on paper of imaginary 
lines running along the surface of the ground at stated intervals 
(varying from 100 metres to 10 ft.) and at a uniform height above 
sea-level (Plate IV.). They show both the height and general con- 
formation of the ground with exactness and without obscuring the 
detail. From a contoured map, however, the nature of the ground 
is not readily grasped, and when the vertical distance between any 
two successive contour lines is great, information as to changes m 
the nature of the slope between them cannot be shown. 

The use of contours is general on British maps and military 

Hill features are also shown on the published maps of the various 
countries by contours and hachures combined, by contours and 
shading, and by contours and altitude tints. 

Contours and Hachures. — When the distance between two succes- 
sive contours is large, hachures define the various underfeatures- 
omitted by the contour lines, and if they are Hghtly drawn they do 
not obscure to any extent the detail of the map. 

Contours and Shading. — The hills are shaded, the shade varying 
in strength according to the steepness of the slope. This enables 
the disposition of the hill featm'es to be easily grasped. 

Contours and Altitude Tints. — Washes, or " layers," of colour are 
used to accentuate the rises in the ground. Green is generally used 
for the low-lying ground, a lighter shade of green for ground a 
100 ft. or more above the sea-level, and brown for the hills, increasing 
in strength according to the height. By this method the relative 
heights of hills are clearly shown, but it is unnecessary if the 
vertical distance between contours is small, and wh^n the ground 
rises to considerable altitudes the colour becomes so dark as to make 
it difficult to read the other features shown on the map. 




markiao the lo'wtit porC of a 

R£-E^^"RA^<T. a V(Jku or 

SPU R .Crouna pnjectiagfrom 
hill or nigh ground into lowtr 



C L . /< aeck (^loot/orhollomi 
coaoechas < 

St^DDil A iiecl( of land or 
hollow coanixhng fwo hills ■ 

UNDERrtATURE./f j/na// 
feature- offshoot of a main 
feature. ^ 

^CREST. Vie edge (^ the top 
of o hill Line from which the 
lower slopes ore commanded 





To show the length and breadth of an area of country on paper 
is a simple matter. To show the third dimension, i.e. height, it i& 
necessary to clearly understand how features raised above the general 
level of the ground can be projected on to the "ground plane " and 
shown "in plan." 

Imagine an immense sheet of paper at the level of the sea to 
cut right underneath a hill. Imagine another sheet of paper parallel 
to the first to cut through the hill, but 50 ft. higher. The inter- 
"section of the second sheet with the sides of the hill indicate a 
. contour line, and if a huge pencil could be held perpendicularly and 
made to follow round the intersection, it would trace on the lower 
sheet the jDlan or actual shape of the hill at the intersection, and the 
line would represent the 50' 0" contour. 

To thoroughly grasp what is meant by a contour line, the 
following experiment should be made (Plate Y.) : — 

Cut a Dutch cheese (or a large potato) in half and place one half 
in a basin. Assuming the half of the cheese to be 7 in. in height^ 
pour water into the basin until there is sufficient to show a rise of 
1 in. Then with a sharp penknife make a slit all round the cheese 
on the water-mark. Pour in more water until there are 2 in. in the 
basin, and make another slit on the new water-mark. Repeat the 
process until the water is 6 in. in height. 

Next remove the cheese and cut into seven slices on the lines- 
marked when in the basin. Place the bottom slice on a piece of 
paper and run a line round it with a red pencil. Place each slice in 
succession within this ring, marking off with the pencil in the same 
way. When the last ring has been drawn on the result will be a 
plan showing the "Contours " of the cheese at every inch in height. 

Imagine the cheese to be an island, and imagine the sea to have 
risen 100 ft. Imagine, also, that a deposit of red seaweed is left> 
Imagine rises of 200 ft., 300 ft. and so on, each rise leaving its red 

A view of the island from an aeroplane immediately above will 
show its plan with the contour lines at every 100 ft. interval. 


The foregoing will explain the prmciple of contours, but it 
assumed features of shnple hemispherical formation. It now remains 
to consider how the different formations of ground can be shown. 

Reading Contours. 

Plate YI. Imagine a knife to have cut perpendicularly, from top 
to bottom, through certain sloping ground, and the black lines on 
the upper part of the plate to show the resulting profiles. The red 
dotted lines show vertical heights of 100 ft., and from the points 
where these cut the profiles of the ground the contour lines could be 
traced along at a uniform height above the sea. The appearance of 
these contour lines as seen from above, in other words " in plan " or 
on the map, is shown by the firm red lines. The following slopes 
are represented : — 

1. Uniform Slopes (1). — When the contours are evenly spaced, 
■as seen on the plan, the shape represented is uniform, and there 
would always be the same horizontal distance to travel for each 
successive rise of 100 ft. Uniform slopes may be steep or may have 
an easy rise. 

2. Steep Slopes (1). — If the contours are close together, there is a 
short distance to travel for every rise shown by the contours, and the 
ground is steep. 

3. Easij Slojjes (1). — If the contours are far apart, there is a 
considerable distance to be travelled between each rise shown by the 
contours, and the ground is not steep. 

4. Convex Slopes (2). — If the contours — working from the lower 
to the higher ground — are closely spaced, becoming more widely spaced 
as greater height is reached, the rise is at first steep, becoming 
gradually flatter, and the ground is convex. 

5. Concave Slopes (3). — If the contours — again working from the 
lower to the higher — are widely spaced, becoming more closely spaced 
as higher ground is reached, the rise at first is gradual, becoming 
steeper as one ascends, and the ground is concave. 

The preceding examples showed only the nature of slopes. Con- 



f)nf/nef /it>rl ///»*< .cfai./ f r)/^^alf aj'^f^c^ Cfn^f OTC /ne/r/iJ 
BJae/C /Joes s^eftff Seciioos of^/oood 

CONCAVE , slope: (D 


'^.1 of Contours = ZS'o" 


tours which show hills, depressions and folds in the ground must now 
be considered. 

0. Spurs (4). — Contours which "bend" must be either salients — 
projections from higher ground usually known as spurs — or re-entrants 
— valleys or similar depressions. Note in which direction the ground 
rises, and a spur will be shown by lines which bend forward or pro- 
trude from the higher ground. If the contour lines are shown at a 
small vertical interval and are numerous, the higher numbers will be 
found on the inner lines. 

7. Re-entrants (5). — A re-entrant will be shown by lines which 
bend in, or "make an indent " in the higher ground. If the contour 
lines are numerous, the higher numbers will be found on the outer 
lines. Rivers and streams will often mark the re-entrants. 

8. Hill Tops (6). — Ring contours show hill tops. Depressions, 
which, however, are infrequently met with, are also shown by ring 
contours ; to detect the hill top it must be noted that the figure is 
generally shown on the side of the contour on which the ground is 

9. Holloivs (7). — Ring contours show depressions. If the figure is 
shown outside the ring the ground rises outside and the hollow is inside. 

The contoured maps on Plates YIL, YIII., IX. and X. show the 
formations of ground just described. 

Walking along the road shown in the S.W". corner of Plate YII., 
the ground to the W. is practically flat, while to the E. it rises 
rapidly towards the wood. , Turning eastwards to the N.W. corner of 
the wood, the lane rises at first but slightly, becoming steeper before 
the 250' contour is reached at the corner of the wood. Turning 
northwards and continuing along the lane a re-entrant is crossed, 
and the lane will dip in and rise again. From the point where the 
200' contour crosses the lane by the second wood, walking along the 
200' contour the road from AValtham Abbey is reached. This road 
eastward runs practically up the centre of a spur, and the slope is 
convex — from the junction of the 200' contour with the road ground 
E. of the church will be " dead." 

Proceeding along the road to Copthall Green, the ground in 


AVarlies Park at first falls rapidly away towards the N. Turning N. 
at Copthall Green the road is fairly level, and runs partly along a 
pronounced spur shown by the 300' and 275' contours. 

Turning to the left at Burgess Farm the road runs downhill to 
the 175' contour, and the slope is a concave one. From the Home 
Farm to Fernhall Farm the road will first drop and then rise and 
di'op again as the spur shown by the 150' contour is crossed. 
AValking across country from Fernhall Farm E. by S. to the lake in 
the wood a spur is crossed, and the re-entrant in which the stream 
runs is reached. Following the stream to Havener's Farm the 
ground rises very slightly. 

A machine gun in position at the R in Ravener's Farm could not 
cover the long wood to the X. The spur marked by the •250' 
contour intervenes, but an excellent field of fire could be obtained 
looking into the re-entrant due S, The ring contour figured 275' 
shows a " hill top." 

In a similar way the various formations of ground shown on 
Plates YIIL, IX. and X. should be examined. 

Official maps should be frequently studied, and an attempt made 
to picture the conformation of the ground. The country itself 
should then be seen, and the reason for any errors carefully con- 

With maps such as the British Ordnance maps, which have 
contours drawn at a large vertical interval, the hachures by which 
the contour lines are supplemented give much additional information. 
The actual shape of the ground between the contours, if not normal, 
is clearly shown, and many important little underfeatures can only 
be indicated — when the interval between contours is large — by this 

Figured heights to certain parts of the ground are also useful 
additions to most maps. As with hachures, they help to show the 
nature of the slopes between contours, and frequently mark the 
summits of hills and commanding positions. 

The following are shown on maps : — 

Trigonometrical Station : A659. These are usually shown on 





^ade 24"'=^ iM^h. R.F. iefe 

i-J I I I I ' I . I 


Vf. cfContoor^^ S^O' 


the tops of hills and commanding ground on British and Colonial 

Bench Mark : B.M.436t. Shown on large scale Ordnance Maps. 
The arrow, denoting the point at which the height is given, is found 
on the plinth of buildings, culverts, posts, etc. 

Spot Levels : • 14:2. These are marked on British maps on roads. 
There is nothing to identify them on the ground. They assist in 
estimating gradients. On Continental maps they are shown on the 
summits of hills and many other spots. 


Accurate contouring for official maps is carried out with instru- 
ments such as the theodolite, level and clinometer. It is the work of 
trained surveyors, and since it must necessarily be a lengthy process 
it cannot be considered as part of military sketching. 

Before attempting the explanation of various methods of con- 
touring for field sketches, either with light portable instruments or 
without the use of any, the following terms, Horizontal Equivalent, 
Vertical Interval and Scale of Slopes, must be understood. 

1. The Horizontal Equivalent — H.E.^is the horizontal distance, 
always referred to in yards on British maps, between two successive 
contours (Plate IV. 2). It will vary, therefore, in length according 
to the nature of the slope. 

It should be noted that in contouring for field sketches the 
distance paced along the ground may be put down directly to scale 
on the map, any length on an incline being considered as equal to 
the same length " on plan." For anything but a steep slope the 
difference is negligible. 

2. The Vertical Interval — V.I. — is the vertical distance, always in 
feet on British maps, between two successive contours (Plate VI. 2), 
and is constant for one map. The V.I. adopted in contouring 
depends upon the nature of the ground, the scale of the map, and 
the use to which it is to be put. A small V.I. would be impossible 
in mountainous country, and a V.I. of 100 ft. would be useless in 
flat country. Schemes for which every Httle rise in the ground is of 


value would require a small V.I., but a small V.I., say 10 ft., on a 
small scale map would only result in confusion. The Y.I. adopted 
should be a component of 100, and must be so when the 100 ft. (or 
metres) contours are already shown and intermediate ones have to be 
put in. 5 ft., 10 ft., 20 ft. and 25 ft. are the usual vertical intervals 
at which military sketches are contoured (Plates YII., YIIL, IX. 
and X.). 

(3) Scale of Slopes. A scale of slopes gives for a fixed Y.I. the 
H.E., or distance between contour lines, for every degree of slope. 
Its construction is explained on page 36. 

1. Contouring with a Clinometer. — The portable clinometer for 
military sketching is an instrument measuring vertical angles. 
The principle involved in its use is simple. Keeping the eye close 
to the ground through apertures in the instrument, one looks along 
the slope the angle of inclination or declination of which it is desired 
to find. A graduated arc showing degrees is kept stationary, and the 
difference between zero of the arc and the line of sight of the rising 
or falling ground gives the number of degrees of the slope. AVith 
the mirror clinometer the zero line of the arc is kept horizontal by 
means of a plumb weight, and with the Abney level a spirit level is used. 

In contouring with a clinometer — or by any other method — it is 
preferable to work from the high ground to the low, as a better 
general impression of the conformation of the ground can thus be 
obtained. Beginning, then, with a commanding position, a level line 
or contour is established round the summit. If a spot level is shown 
on any available map this contour should be in relation to it, and all 
the contour lines accordingly figured from one datum — sea level. 
Next select prominent spurs and re-entrants — spurs for preference — 
down which the position of the contours at the selected Y.L are to 
be fixed. Set the sketch, and draw rays in alignment with the 
ridges of the spurs and centre lines of re-entrants (if not already 
marked by watercourses). When the direction of the ridge line of 
the spur bends, a new ray is drawn for the new direction. 

The degrees of slope of the ridge of a spur, so far as it is more 
or less constant, is measured with the clinometer, and the distance 


to the point observed as marking the limit of the slope is paced. 
From the scale of slopes for the Y.I. adopted and the degree regis- 
tered by the instrument (see page 37) the length of the H.E. is taken, 
and this length is marked off as many times as it will go in the length 
paced — each length marking the position of a contour. These points 
for the contours are traced round for a short distance on each side. 
If the last contour line does not reach as far as the distance paced, a 
little adjustment will be necessary in marking the first contour for 
the next change of slope. The process is continued along the spur 
for each pronounced change of slope, and when points have been 
estabHshed on the necessary number of spurs (and re-entrants) they 
are carefully linked together so as to indicate the formation of the 
intervening ground. 

When other rising ground is met with, the process may be con- 
tinued along suitable lines over such rises, or one or more contour 
lines levelled round them from points on the first slope, but when 
the ground consists of numerous hills and knolls it is best to obtain 
from one hill the degree of the slope to the summits of the others, 
and any other suitable points. The distance from one's own posi- 
tion to all these points is scaled from the sketch, and knowing the 
distances and angle of fall (or rise) the actual difference in height 
is readily calculated.* By this method heights can be obtained for 
points all over the ground, and the contour lines are drawn in by 
eye in accordance with them. 

Another method of using the clinometer is to take the degree 
of slope from the top to the bottom of a hill, irrespective of changes 
in the nature of the slope. Knowing the degree of slope and the 
distance from the top to the foot as shown on the sketch, the " number 
of H.E.s" or contour lines for the selected V.I. is ascertained. The 
correct number of contour lines are then drawn in, and so spaced as 
to indicate as far as possible the changes in the character of the slope. 

Whichever be the method adopted for using the clinometer, if 

* The formula is : — V.I. = ~ — '—ok — — * ^'^' ^^^^ represent the differ- 
ence in height, and H.E. the distance between the points (see page 37). 


time permits, greater accuracy can be obtained in correctly shaping 
the contour lines to the form of the ground if at least one contour 
be levelled completely round the whole area. 

When there is no spot level to give the height above sea level, 
the lowest contour may be considered as the datum, and the remaining 
contours figured from this. 

2. Contouring ivith an Aneroid Barometer. — An aneroid barometer 
(which can be obtained to show readings to 5 ft.) is most suited for 
rapid contouring, but should only be used in settled weather. 

The relative heights of various parts of the ground are fixed by 
the readings of the barometer, which can be done as the map is 
being drawn. The contour lines are afterwards put in in conformity 
with the heights shown. 

Before use the instrument should be set by some known height, 
and to avoid errors caused by changes in the weather it should be 
checked by other known heights whenever possible. If used to inter- 
polate form lines between contours at a large Y.I., it should be checked, 
and if necessary, re-set whenever an established contour is reached. 

A short time should be allowed for the barometer to settle before 
taking the reading, and it should always be read in the same position . 

8, Contouring ivith a Level. — A simple, though- slaw method of 
noting the rises in the ground 5 ft. at a time is by holding to the 
€ye, quite level, a pencil or protractor. If a plumb line be attached 
to the arrow head on the protractor, the horizontality can be checked 
"by noting if the string is in alignment with the 90° line. An 
assistant goes ahead in the desired direction, pacing the distance as 
lie goes, and when his feet are aligned with the pencil or protractor 
the man halts and his position denotes a 5 ft. rise. "Working down 
hill, if a 10 ft. rod be carried on the assistant's shoulder and the man 
with the level lies flat on the ground, a fall of 10 ft. can be marked 
€acli time. 

This method of contouring, which is an accurate one, is best 
employed for interpolating form lines between contours at a large 
Y.I. A pocket sighting level — a rectangular box about | in. square 
and 4 J in. long — may be used in exactly the same way, and is more 


sgh"' $00^300' ^'if- ^o^JOo'- o'l Tnponometrica/ SU/ons. BencfiMorks E Spot levels 

Icale'o/HaUuW ' t {"°'. "^ ^ /J' ^f"^^'^" ,. 

I 'i/ I Vso rAo^2 UL'"'^ "^f^ °'i°h of 10-0 were recorJe</ 
I ' ' ^ < ' ^ ' for/T7 lines feve/led from j'xed points. 


time permits, greater accuracy can be obtained in correctly shaping 
the contour lines to the form of the ground if at least one contour 
be levelled completely round the whole area. 

When there is no spot level to give the height above sea level, 
the lo\yest contour may be considered as the datum, and the remaining 
contours figured from this. 

2. Contouring ivith an Aneroid Barometer. — An aneroid barometer 
(which can be obtained to show readings to 5 ft.) is most suited for 
rapid contouring, but should only be used in settled weather. 

The relative heights of various parts of the ground are fixed by 
the readings of the barometer, which can be done as the map is 
being drawn. The contour lines are afterwards put in in conformity 
with the heights shown. 

Before use the instrument should be set by some known height, 
and to avoid errors caused by changes in the weather it should be 
checked by other known heights whenever possible. If used to inter- 
polate form lines between contours at a large Y.I., it^hould be checked, 
and if necessary, re-set whenever an established contour is reached. 

A short time should be allowed for the barometer to settle before 
taking the reading, and it should always be read in the same position . 

3. Contouring with a Level. — A simple, though- slaw method of 
rioting the rises in the ground 5 ft. at a time is by holding to the 
eye, quite level, a pencil or protractor. If a plumb line be attached 
to the arrow head on the protractor, the horizontality can be checked 
by noting if the string is in alignment with the 90° line. An 
assistant goes ahead in the desired direction, pacing the distance as 
he goes, and when his feet are aligned with the pencil or protractor 
the man halts and his position denotes a 5 ft. rise. Working down 
hill, if a 10 ft. rod be carried on the assistant's shoulder and the man 
with the level lies flat on the ground, a fall of 10 ft. can be marked 
each time. 

This method of contouring, which is an accurate one, is best 
employed for interpolating form lines between contours at a large 
Y.I. A pocket sighting level — a rectangular box about f in. square 
and 4J in. long — may be used in exactly the same way, and is more 



i^'^o'/e ^''- 1 Mile. R.F. isa^o 

SOO 4O0 300 200 WO O 

Sca/e of H.E. - Y/. 10 0' ' ' ' 

'^<^ Y ank 

V.I. of Cpntoors - too'- o'l Triponometricol Stathns, BencfiMar/^ a SpoUevels 

Form Lines /nterp^/oteol af a VJ. m^-W'-o" 

y~ Denote //nes on i^AicA rises orfai/s of lO-O" ^ere recorded 

%-Denotii />osid'ons of form lines /eve/fed Jrom fxed points. 


accurate, as a small looking-glass in the box reflects a spirit-level 
whilst one looks through the apertures for some mark on the ground 
level with the eye. 

Plate X. shows an area of country in which contours at a 10 ft. 
V.I. have been added to those of lOu ft. in this way. Working up 
and down hill from established contours, the lines of re-entrants and 
certain lines of fences already marked on the map are chosen, along 
which the rises and falls are to l)e taken. Spurs also are selected, 
and rays indicating their direction are drawn, or compass bearings 
taken. The lines selected for making the rises and falls are shown 
on Plate X. by small circles, each circle denoting a change of 
level of 10 ft. 

When the position of one contour is fixed, with the level points 
at a similar height can be fixed on other parts of the ground, and 
these points are noted on the map according to the features they 
coincide with. The contoured map is completed by linking together 
all the established points according to the conformation of the inter- 
vening ground. 

Contouring by such a method as that which has just been 
described trains the eye to realise how different formations of ground 
appear on paper, and leads to facility in contouring by eye. For the 
same object the protractor with plumb line may be used as a clino- 
meter, and the method of contouring with that instrument followed. 
With the plumb line hanging from the arrow head and the edge of 
the protractor aligned with a slope, the difference between the 
degree marked by the weighted string and the 90° line shows the 
angle of the slope. 

4. Contouring by Eye.--¥ov field sketches, in which the chief 
object is not absolute accuracy, but to give in the least possible time 
a representation of the military value of the ground, contours can be 
put in by eye, and if contours at a large Y.I. are already shown on 
. the small scale published maps, it is an easy matter to put in with 
moderate accuracy any intermediate ones. 

First discover the position of the highest contour on the ground 
that has been sketched, and from this point find out where the next 



contour should run. Should any fold in the ground intervene, draw 
a light line to indicate its position. Consider the nature of the 
ground between the two established contours, whether it be uniform ^ 
concave, convex, or various slopes of different forms and guided by 
any lines drawn to show the intervening folds, draw lightly contour 
lines expressive of the formation of the ground seen between them. 
Trace these lines round as far as possible. This should be done in 
as many parts of the ground as may be necessary. Note the spurs 
and re-entrants — streams will usually indicate the correct positions of 
these — and then, having studied the ground from several points of 
view, the various contours can be linked together and drawn in with 
red or brown lines, or if in pencil with dotted lines. 

This method simply means thoroughly studying and grasping- 
the nature of the land, and knowing how the various formations of 
ground are represented on paper. Practice leads to sufficiently 
accurate results. 

It should always be remembered that heights given on published 
maps for trigonometrical stations, bench marks and spot levels, if 
noted on the sketch in their correct positions, will help in placing the 
intermediate form lines. 

Contours not instrumentally obtained are known as form lines. 
They should be very carefully and distinctly drawn in red or brown,, 
and, if drawn with chalk, to ensure the necessary fine line the pencil 
should have a chisel edge. If in black, a chain dotted Hne should 
be used. If shown with contours obtained from published maps, to 
make a distinction they should be drawn more lightly. 

It will help to make the map clearer if, with a small Y.I., every 
25, 50, or 100 ft. be accentuated (Plate IX.). Such accentuated 
contours might also be made darker according to their height above 
the sea level (Plate X.). 

The contour lines must be figured, and if drawn in ink the figures 
should be in the same colour. The figuring should be neat, in con- 
tinuous lines (Plate IX.), and sufficient lines of figures should be 
shown to enable the heights to be quickly read. 

Minor formations of the ground, called underfeatures — slight 


knolls or depressions — which are not shown by the Y.I. adopted 
for the contours, may be indicated either by light dotted form lines 
interpolated between the contours, or in the case of such features as 
artificial mounds or cuttings by hachures. Such notes are important. 
When time will not permit of form lines, however approximate, 
being drawn on a rapid sketch, and some idea of the shape of 
important features of the ground is necessary, little arrows, supple- 
mented by notes, can be used, the arrow-head being always shown 
on the lower part of the ground (Plate XIY.). 

Slopes and Gradients. 

The following table shows how Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and 
Transport are affected by different slopes. The nature of the 
ground — the foothold — should be taken into consideration. 

1 in 20 (3^). — Road tractors can draw twice their own weight. 
1 in 12 (5°). — A rise of 1 ft. in 4 yd. Possible for all arms. 
1 in 10 (6°). — Transport moves with difficulty. 
1 in 6 (10°). — Movement of Infantry in close formation is difficult. 

Cavalry can charge a short distance only up hill. Artillery 

can move for short distances only. 
1 in 4 (15°). — Infantry can jnove in extended order. Cavalry 

can only move short distances. Extremely difficult for 

1 in 3 (20°). — Infantry in extended order. Cavalry moves with 

1 in 2 (30°) and steeper slopes. Infantry can ascend slowly, the 

men using their hands. 

On contoured maps the gradients of roads and hills can be readily 
ascertained by means of a Scale of Slopes. 

A Scale of Slopes or Gradients shows for a stated Y.I. the H.E. or 
distance between contour lines corresponding to the degree of steep- 
ness in the rise of the ground. Since the Y.I. is a fixed quantity, 

C 2 


for one map it must be obvious that the H.E. will vary in length 
only according to the degree of slope of the ground (see Plate IV. 
(2) ). For a gentle rise it will be large ; for a steep slope it will be 

If a scale is required solely for the purpose of measuring gradients 
from a contoured map it can be constructed by the following method. 
A gradient of, say, 1 in 15 means that for a rise of 1 ft. — V.I. — the 
horizontal distance travelled — H.E.— will be 15 ft., or 5 yds. Con- 
sidering the gradients given above as affecting the different arms, 
and assuming a map contoured at a V.I. of 10 : 0" for the gradient 
1 in 20, or as it is more usually written ^\, to rise 10 ft. one will 
travel 200 ft. = 6G yds.— the H.E. For yV— 120 ft. = 40 yds. ; 
tV— 100 ft. = 33 yds. ; i— 60 ft. = 20 yds., and so on. The Scale 
(Plate X.) is constructed by drawing a line and marking off to the 
scale of the map length of GQ, 40, 83, 20 yds., etc. These are 
figured 2V5 tV» to> "P to J. It is called Scale of Gradients, or Scale 
of H.E. — V.I. 10 : 0". By transferring this scale to the edge of a 
piece of paper from the width between contour lines, the gradient 
at any part of the map is at once seen. With maps drawn to 
metrical scales, since both the V.I. and H.E. are shown in the same 
unit of measure, a scale of gradients can be very rapidly made. 

A scale of slopes for use when contouring with a clinometer 
(page 30) is generally constructed in a different way, as the instru- 
ment records degrees of slope and not gradients, and for the degree 
of slope the corresponding length of H.E. is to be found. For the 
construction of such a scale the formula from which the necessary 
and simple calculations are made is based on what is known as the 
" Triangle of Reference." In this triangle one side — representing 
the slope of the ground — makes an angle of 1° with the base. To 
any scale the third side, representing the V.I., is shown by a line 
1' • 0" in height, and perpendicular to the base. To the scale adopted 
for the V.I., the H.E. will be found to equal 19*1 yds., which in 
order to simplify calculations is called 20. From this the formula is 

. . , -p-T. V.I. X 20 

deduced — H.E. = .pr j^— j — . 

Degree or slope 


Example : To construct a Scale of Slopes for a map to be contoured 
ata Y,I. of 20:0" 

H.E. = ^•I-^<_ii = ^>L20 ^ 130, X H.E. for a slope of 3° 
iJeo:ree 3 

= 80X „ „ 5° 









and so on. 

The Scale is constructed as before, and its use is explained in the 
description of contouring with a clinometer (page 30). A Scale of 
Gradients for a map already contoured can also be constructed, using 
the above formula if gradients be first converted to degrees. To 
convert such fractions to degrees of slope, it is only necessary to 
multiply by 60, which will give sufficiently accurate results up to 
1 in 3. -i^Q, yV? tV become 8°, 5", 6", and so on. 

Visibility of Points. 

To the trained eye contours not only give an accurate impression 
of the nature of the ground, but also show, with little calculation, 
covered approaches and what can and what cannot be seen from 
any given point. This, the knowledge of the visibihty of points, 
may obviously be extremely useful in the preparation of any tactical 
scheme on paper. As a study, exercises in visibility and the practice 
of making sections are the most notable aid to the reaUsation of the 
" relief " of any area of country from its representation on plan — the 
contoured map. 

Of the various formations of sloping ground much need not be 

From the upper part of a convex slope little will be seen of the 
lower. With such slopes one may expect a considerable amount of 
dead ground (Plate YL, 2). 


With concave slopes there is no dead ground, and a good field of 
fire will always be obtained (Plate YL, 3), The same might be said, 
though not with such certainty, of uniform slopes, for a very slight 
irregularity, unshown by the contours, might obstruct the view and 
cause a large area of the slope to become " dead." 

The fall of the ground in valleys will nearly always be concave ; 
spurs, on the other hand, are .usually convex for their upper slopes, 
becoming concave towards the base. 

The foot of a hill is not easily seen from its summit. Summits 
normally are of flatter formation than the sides, and it is necessary 
to go forward to the brow or crest for the lower slopes to become 

The question of the visibility of points is not so simple when 
there is an interrupted slope, where the ground rises and falls and 
there are intervening hills between the points under consideration. 

In the case of interrupted slopes — when the ground may be steep 
for some parts and flat for others — a little calculation may become 
necessary. Assume the side of a hill having a varied slope, and that 
it is desired to know if, from a selected position, a small copse higher 
up the hill will be visible. Assume the map to be contoured at Y.I. 
of 20 : 0", and the position to be on or near the 320 contour and the 
copse on the 480. Between the two positions there will be 8 contour 
lines. Measure the distance from position to copse — say 1200 yards. 
The distance between contour lines is the H.E. Divide 1200 by 8, 
the number of contour lines, and the H.E. would be 150 ^ if the 
slope were an even one. If it were an even slope it would obviously 
correspond with the line of vision from position to copse, and they 
would be mutually visible. 

On the edge of a piece of paper tick off lengths of 150^, figuring 
them 320, 340, 360, and so on, and place the piece of paper between 
the two points on the map. If it is found that any contour line is 
nearer to the selected position than the" contour line of the same 
number as shown on the slip of paper, the ground is not only not 
an even slope— which would correspond with the visual ray — but at 
one point it has risen higher and obstructs the view. In other 









words, if a piece of string could be stretched tightly between the 
copse and position, the line in effect would be convex, and obviously 
the two points could not be mutually visible. 

As it is possible to gauge approximately what the distance be- 
tween contours should be for an even slope between two points, one 
■can always tell by eye whether this distance is greater than the 
distance between the two contour lines next the lower of two posi- 
tions, or less than that between the two contour lines next the upper 
position. In either of these cases it will be impossible to see one 
point from the other. 

To grasp thoroughly the question of the visibility of points, and 
to be able to answer with assurance any question concerning them 
when studying a map, it is advisable to practice making " sections." 

A section taken through a hill or series of hills tells us what 
would be seen -from one side if a vertical cut in the earth's crust 
were made with a huge knife and the ground between the spectator 
Slid the cut removed. 

Plate XI.A shows an area of country with the contours drawn, and 
above is the section that would be seen if a knife were to cut vertically 
down along the line A.B., which is the line joining the points, the 
mutual visibility of which it is desired to discover. 

Sections are drawn as follows : — At the points where the line 
A.B. cuts the contours perpendiculars to it are erected. The height 
of each of the contours is then marked off on the perpendicular 
erected from it. This can be done to any scale, but it should be larger 
than that used for the map, otherwise, except in very mountainous 
country, the rises and falls would be insufficiently pronounced. 
Join the points together, and a fairly accurate representation of the 
relative heights of the ground will result. Sections need not be 
•drawn on the map. A piece of paper may be used, having one edge 
on the line A.B., and upon this the perpendiculars and section line 
are drawn. 

When the V.I. of the contours is a large one, say 100 ft., the 
exact height of a hill can only be guessed at. The highest contour 
line may show 800 ft., but the hill might rise to 890. In such cases 


if -no figure shows the height of the actual summit one can only 
draw in the top of the hill in accordance with the general slope of 
the ground where it is definitely fixed by the contours. 

Sections need not always be drawn. If the two points in question 
are obviously higher than any intervening ground they must be 
mutually visible. 

If there are any doubts draw a line joining the two points and 
erect perpendiculars on those contours only which might render one 
point invisible from the other. These perpendiculars, drawn to 
scale, are quite sufficient to show what is required. (Plate XI.C.) 

A method of ascertaining the visibility of points which does not 
necessitate drawing upon the map is that known as " Comparative 
Gradients." The following is an example. On a map it is desired 
to know if two points, X, 750 ft. high, and Y, 640 ft. high, are 
mutually visible. Between them a possible obstacle, a hill, ^\, rises- 
to 700 ft. Scale off the distance from X to W. It is 2000 yds. An 
imaginary line joining X to W would correspond to the line of sight, 
and this line would drop 50 ft. — the difference in height between 

X and W— in 2000 yds. The "gradient" will be --^ (to 

^ "" 2000 X 8 ^ 

bring to feet) = —— . From W to Y the distance is 2700 yds. The 

difference in height is 60 ft. The "gradient" of the line of sight 

60 1 

will be — — ^ = — -. Since the line of sis'ht from X to W is 

2700 X 5 135 ^ 

steeper than that from W to Y, a line joining the three summits would 

be concave in outline, and obviously the hill W cannot obstruct the 


Of the various methods devised to determine the visibility of 
points, the method of sections is the one that has the advantage 
of not only showing if two points are mutually visible, but also of 
showing the general nature of the slopes and at which point the 
ground will again come into view. 

To discover how much of a hill or spur will be seen by an 
observer at a given point, it is only necessary to imagine the position 


of the observer as being that of a powerful light. Lines drawn 
from the position as tangents to the contour lines show which part 
of the hill would be in shade. The part in shade is that which 
would not be seen (Plate XI.). 

The theory of the visibility of points applies to the ground when 
devoid of woods and trees. The position of woods can be noted on 
maps and may be accounted for, but such obstacles as hedges heavily 
lined with trees cannot be foreseen. 



Types of Lettering. 

The legibility of any printing is the first consideration. It must 
be placed so that it will neither interfere with the detail of the map 
nor in any way confuse the drawing. Lettering may be in upright 
or sloping block letters, or, for minor features and notes, italics. 
Uniformity in height and spacing is desirable, and until proficiency 
is acquired it is advisable to rule parallel lines a distance apart 
equal to the height of letters required and to use them as a guide. 
Rapidity will come with practice. 

A useful guide in hasty lettering will be found in the protractor, 
which is placed on the sketch with one edge in the position in which 
it is desired to print, thus keeping the downward and horizontal 
strokes in one straight line. If printing in italics, the " tails " to 
such letters as g and y are added when the protractor is removed. 

Plate XII. shows types of lettering and should be copied. 

System of Lettering. 

All lettering should be horizontal, with the exception of the 
names of rivers, roads, railways, etc. It should be so placed as to 
leave no doubt as to which part of the map it relates. It should 
extend across an area— e.g., a common — and for small features should 
read from the right side of the object referred to. If any doubt 
exists draw a line and arrow-head to the object. 

A descriptive heading in block letters at least ^ in. in height must 
be printed on every sketch. The names of principal features, towns, 
villages, etc., should be in block letters, and all other notes may be in 
smaller block letters or italics, which are easily and rapidly formed 
(Plate VII.). 


























< 5] 







A. Area of Country ^milk square as shown on TOrdnance ^p. >^: 

B. Ont half of Enlargement of A . Scale 6'=- 1 Mile. 

C, One HALF OF Eniargemcnt Completed on the Ground. 


Roads leaving the map on the left side and bottom are marked 
" from," those on the right side and top " to," with the name of the 
nearest town or important village and the distance. This also applies 
to railways. 

The name of the author of the sketch, with rank, regiment and 
date, must be printed in the bottom right-hand corner. 



The Object. 

It has already been pointed out that to make a map in unmapped 
country would take a considerable amount of time, and would mean 
both accurate instniments and skill in using them : it is, in fact, 
work which must be left for specially trained men, work which but 
few officers who are not specialists wUl be called upon to attempt. 

The occasions will be rare when a map, though perhaps on a 
very small scale, is not available on the scene of operations. It will 
then be necessary to correct and to enlarge maps which are not 
up-to-date, maps which, because of their small scale, do not show 
enough, or the right kind of information, or permit of the disposition 
and movement of troops being shown upon them, and to supplement 
the enlargement— on the ground — with such further detail as may 
be necessary for the tactical scheme in hand. The small scale 
published maps usually are most deficient in representation of the 
varying levels of the ground, for contom's at vertical intervals of 
100 ft. or 20 metres do not. except in mountainous country, give an 
accurate idea of the possibilities of the ground. 

The positions of imponant features, more or less accurately 
placed, are given by the enlargement, and the intervening detail can 
usually be filled in by eye. If the objects which are definitely fixed 
and easily recognisable are far apart, it may sometimes be necessary 
to fix intervening points with the prismatic compass by the method 
known as triangulation, and described later in the explanation of the 
use of that instniment. 

Methods of Enlarging. 

Over the area on the map which it is desired to enlarge a series 
of rectangles are drawn. Their size will vary from 1 in. to J in. 


square, according to the amount of detail on the map. On the 
paper on which the enlarged sketch is to be made rectangles, the 
sides of which are proportionately larger than those on the map — 
according to the new scale — are drawn, and the detail on the map, 
taken rectangle by rectangle, is put in by eye on the new sketch 
(Plate XIIL). 

All maps are drawn with the top to the North, but a sketch for 
a tactical scheme should have the top facing the direction of the 
enemy. When the position of the enemy is known, therefore, the 
rectangle must be drawn on the map accordingly. A line is drawn 
to indicate the direction of the enemy's advance, and the sides of 
the rectangles are drawn on the map parallel and at right angles to 
this line. 

Do not attempt to enclose the area to be enlarged with a marginal 
line, and then divide the space enclosed. It is a tedious operation, 
and unnecessary. Draw the rectangles to the size found convenient, 
and if they extend beyond the area required do not draw all the 
detail contained. 

It is not necessary that the rectangles be square, but if the 
enlargement is being made on Army Book 153, which is ruled in 
J in. squares, lines J in. apart on the map will be represented by every 
fourth or sixth line on the book according to whether the map be 
enlarged to a scale of 4 in. or 6 in. to the mile and from the 1 in. 
scale Ordnance. If from the J in. scale Ordnance, every eighth or 
twelfth line would be marked. 

If the enlargement is being made on blank paper, mark off on the 
edge of a piece of paper or card the side of one rectangle on the map 
three, four, six, or any number of times according to the new scale 
for the enlargement. This will be the length (or breadth) of one 
side of the rectangle for the enlargement, and the network of squares 
is completed accordingly. 

With the service protractor squares on both the map and paper 
on which the enlargement is to be made can be readily set out. 
Assume the map from which the enlargement is being made to be to 
a scale of 1 in. to 1 mile, and the enlargement to be made to 4 in. 


to 1 mile. Using the scale of 1 in. to 1 mile on the edge of the 
protractor, tick off on the map, say, every 500 yds., and rule squares 
accordingly. On the paper on which the enlargement is to be made, 
using the scale of 2 in. to 1 mile, tick off every 1000 yds. (equal to 
500 yds. for a scale of 4 in. to 1 mile) and complete the squares. 

If a sketch is to be made to a scale which is not a multiple of the 
scale of the map to be enlarged a little calculation may be necessary. 
In such cases, e.g. foreign maps enlarged to an English scale, one 
must work with the R.Fs. 

Example ; — An enlargement to a scale of 6 in. to 1 mile — R.F. 

^/^ c^A — is to be made from a map the R.F. of which is oa aaa 
lOjObO ^ bO,000 

Squares of J in. side are drawn on the map, but as 80,000 is not a 

multiple of 10,560 the following calculation must be made to find 

the size of the square for the enlargement. 

For a map with R.F. of the side of the square is J in. 

80,000 X 1 . 

)5 ?? 55 1 55 55 55 T lH. 

1 80,000 X 1 

" " " 10,560 " " " 10,560 X 4 

= 1-89 in. 
Squares of 1*89 in. side must be drawn for the enlargement. 

The service protractor could have been used for the above, and 
when working from foreign maps having a R.F. for which a scale 
of yards is shown on the protractor. In the previous example, an 

enlargement from to 6 in. to 1 mile, using the protractor, 

80 J 000 

squares of, say, 600 yards side to the scale of , could have been 

oU , UUU 

marked off on the map and on the sketch-book squares of 1800 yards 
side to the scale of 2 in. to 1 mile (equal to 600 yds. for a scale of 
6 in. to 1 mile). 

It should be noted that for the network of rectangles on the 


small scale map a sheet of celluloid with ^ or J in. squares drawn od 
may be used. This is placed over the area to be enlarged, pinned in 
position, and will save both time and marking the map. 

Diagonal lines can be drawn to any or all the rectangles of the 
map and enlargement with little trouble, and they will obviously 
help to fix more correctly the detail of each square. 

When the squares have been completed by any of the above 
methods the various features of the map are now transferred square 
by square and as accurately as possible to the enlargement. 

If the area of country to be enlarged is considerable, and the work 
to be carried out by more than one, do not make several enlarge- 
ments — one only of the whole will be more accurate. This can be 
cut into parts and the different areas covered accordingly. The 
drawings can be again pieced together on the completion of the 
work and finished up by one hand. 

It must be remembered that corrections may have to be made 
when the ground is gone over, so everything should be drawn lightly 
and no colour used. Put on the contours very accurately (in pencil,, 
with a chain dotted line), and any heights that may be figured, and 
to assist in showing more fully the various levels every little stream 
should be noted. 

Omit lines showing parish and other boundaries, and do not show 
the stippling by which on Ordnance maps private parks are shown,, 
though their boundary fences should be drawn in. Whilst, generally^ 
anything that is obviously of no military value should be omitted,, 
features that are likely to help in fixing other points when on the 
ground should be shown. 

Buildings and roads are already exaggerated in size on small scale 
maps, and should not, therefore, be enlarged much, if at all. 

The scale for the enlargement must be drawn at the foot of the 
sketch. The north point must be shown in the top right-hand 
corner — a star indicates the line of true north, and the direction of 
the magnetic north is shown by an arrow-head (Plate III., 19). 

As the sketch is drawn with the top towards the enemy the 
correct position of the N line is obtained by noting the angle made 


by this line with the line of the enemy's advance as shown on the 
small scale map. 

If it is desired to make an enlargement of a length of road, it 
can be done by the system just described, dividing the road up into 
sections, squaring each one and enlarging section by section as for 
an area of country, and piecing them together, if more than one 
sheet has been used, afterwards. 

It is obvious that, should it be necessary, maps could be copied 
or reduced by the methods used for enlargement. 

Instruments and Materials. 

For field sketching, and especially filling in the details of an 
enlargement, elaborate instruments are not only unnecessary but are 
an encumbrance. Small pocket dividers may be carried if desired, 
but distances can quite well be taken from the scale by ticking off on 
a piece of paper. The service protractor should always be carried, 
and an H.B. or F. pencil and a rubber are of course essential. 
Anything softer than an H.B. (which must be kept sharply pointed) 
rubs and spoils the clearness of the sketch. 

Blue chalk is used for water, light brown for roads, green for 
woods, and red or brown for contours — brown of a darker shade 
than that used for roads — is essential to avoid confusion when 
trenches are being shown. Red and blue chalks are used to show 
one's own and enemy troops and entrenchments. The chalks are 
used lightly, as already explained for the various conventional signs. 

If the map is to be finished in ink, either for purposes of repro- 
duction or in order that it shall be more permanent, only good 
waterproof ink should be used. Never use a copying-ink pencil. 

Smooth paper, such as that supplied with Army Book 153, is the 
best to work on, and the map-sketcher should become accustomed to 
the use of this book, which must be carried in the field. 

A prismatic compass should be carried, but any elaborate instru- 
ment for measuring heights is quite unnecessary for field sketching 
when rapidity is essential. 

If mounted a cavalry sketchino: board will be found a convenience. 


Filling in the Detail. 
Before setting out to fill in the additional information on the 
enlarged sketch it is essential to know definitely for what object the 
map is being made. Only by appreciating the problem for which 
the sketch is required will the sketcher be likely to obtain all the 
information which is necessary, and to omit anything that is not 
relevant to the military purpose of the map. 

Choose the highest part of the ground to walk or ride over, 
ground from which most of the country to be mapped can be seen. 
Arrange the tour round so that the greatest area of ground can be 
covered in the shortest time, and do not stop to mark every little 
feature. Halt when there are several features which can be put in 
at once, always remembering to " set " (see page 63) the sketch with 
the ground before drawing anything. 

Objects are put in by comparison with fixed points on the enlarge-, 
ment which are identifiable on the ground. The position of features 
which cannot thus be put in by estimating by eye or by pacing must 
be obtained with the prismatic compass already referred to and by a 
method explained later. 

In pacing long distances it is simpler to pace the normal length 
rather than pace yards. Knowing the exact length of one's pace, a 
comparative scale showing paces for the R.F. of the map can be 
drawn and will save time converting paces to yards. If mounted a 
time-scale should be drawn for the scale of the map. 

Lines of fences, woods, etc., and the direction of roads and 
streams can be ascertained by "setting" the sketch — by compass or any 
fixed objects — and drawing rays aligned with the required features. 

Enough has been said in describing the conventional signs to 
show how they must be drawn in. Particulars of the nature of the 
ground, crops, etc., will be given by note. All fences need not be 
drawn ; their existence and nature can be stated by note, but fences 
and ditches which are likely to be used for cover or fire positions 
should be marked. Knowledge of the use to which the sketch is to be 
put will enable one to decide what details to omit and what to put in. 

Buildings should be shown solidly with the pencil, as they are 



distinctive objects by which the country can be recognised from a 
distance, and similarly all roads should be shown by firm Hues 
(Plate YII.). 

The ranges to any commanding position overlooking the area 
mapped but not on the sketch should be given, and also the ranges 
to ground commanded by prominent points on the map. The 
direction of the commanding position or of the ground commanded 
bv a position is shown bv a line with a tick on one side only 
(Plates XIII., XVII. and XXXII.). 

Contour or '* form " lines will of course be shown. The repre- 
sentation of the levels of the ground is perhaps the most important 
infoi-mation that can be added to an enlargement. 

The method of showing the hiU features has already been 
explained in the description of contours. Xotes only may sometimes 
show a valuable fire position or an advance under cover ; but, whilst 
notes of this nature are important, it must always be remembered 
that it is the duty of the map-sketcher to give information, and not 
to solve the tactical problems himself. 

Filling in the details of an enlargement should be an exercise in 
training the powers of observation, and having completed the map 
the sketcher should be able to guide, if necessary, a night attack 
over the srround. 

Completing the Sketch. 

The drawing should be made in clean firm Hues. It should be 
workmanlike, clear, easily read, and not overcrowded with un- 
necessary detail. 

A sketch should always be placed on the paper to leave a margin 
of not more than | in. at the top for the heading, as all the available 
space is needed at the bottom of the sketch for notes. 

The heading, stating the purpose of the sketch, and all other 
necessary lettering must be neatly printed, and the sketch must be 
signed, giving rank, regiment and date at the bottom right-hand 
corner. The top left-hand corner should always be left free from 


notes and printing, as this is the point of attachment for any 
accompanying report or paper. 

Notes, which should be brief and relevant, are of great value, as 
are sections of likely fire positions, and small sketches (with dimen- 
sions) of such features of tactical importance as bridges. These 
should all be shown under the sketch, tabulated, and with reference 
letters or figures (in a small circle) in front of them and on the 
portion of the sketch referred to (Plate XYIIL). 

The Y.I. adopted for the contours must be stated under the 
scale, and if the sketch has been made very hurriedly, and is not 
reasonably accurate a note must be added to that effect. 

D 2 



Sketches of Positions. 

The term eye-sketching is used to distingnish from map enlarge- 
ments sketches made by eye on blank paper and without the use of 
any instruments. It may often happen that there has been no time 
to enlarge from a small scale map. and the sketch must be made with 
the least delay possible. This particularly applies to sketches which 
have to be made of one's own position or positions taken up by the 
enemy. In such cases the roughest of drawings may be of use. 

The drawing also may have to be made under such conditions 
that the sketcher must neither move from his position nor expose 
himself. Much of the detail will have to be put in with the aid of 
field-glasses, and rather than choose a position from which he can 
observe most of the ground the sketcher must select a suitable back- 
ground and take such cover that he himself shall be free from 

The value of an enlargement from a small scale map Kes in the fact 
that a number of definite objects which are identifiable on the ground 
are correctly placed, and working from them other details can be 
easily filled in. These fixed objects might be caUed *' Ruhng Points."* 
In sketching by eye niling points which form the framework of a 
sketch must either : (1) be dispensed with, or (2) obtaiaed by other 

Whichever method l^e adopted, and whether standing in one 
fixed spot or moving freely over the country, if satisfactory results 
^are expected a little calculation is necessary at the outset. The area 
of country that is to be shown must be decided upon and a suitable 
scale selected, in order that the sketch shall be kept within the limits 
of the paper. The country should be carefully analysed, and before 


drawing any lines on paper the sketch must be always held correctly 
*" set " with the ground. 

(1) A man who has practised visualising country from a map, or 
one who, after studying the ground, can form an accurate impression 
of its appearance on paper, will be able to sketch fairly correctly a 
small area of country without any fixed points to guide him. Still 
better practice is that of examining the ground and jotting down on 
paper a sketch of what is seen. "Whilst still on the site the rough 
skelich-map is then compared with and corrected by a reliable map 
of the district. Experience in map enlargement will also lead to 
greater competence in eye-sketching (Plate XIY.). 

(2) If time will permit, and it is not necessary to remain under 
cover, the following method may be adopted. A central position, 
preferably on high ground, is chosen and the sketch book is placed 
on the ground. The north point is then put on with the compass, 
the top of the paper either facing north or, if known, the direction 
of the enemy. Next, the position chosen is marked in the centre of 
the paper. The sketcher lies on the ground, and without disturbing 
the book (if moved it can be set again by the compass) moves round, 
drawing straight lines or rays to prominent surrounding objects by 
means of the protractor or a straight stick which is pivoted on the 
central point and aligned on each chosen object in turn. The 
distance to each selected object is either paced or estimated by eye 
and drawn to scale, the name of the object or a conventional sign 
being shown at the end of the line. 

On the paper will now be found a series of fixed points such as 
might have been obtained, though more accurately, from an enlarge- 
ment. The detail is filled in and the sketch completed. 

If a central position cannot be chosen, e.g. the case of a picquet 
commander wishing to make a map of the ground in front of him 
whilst remaining under cover, the rays can be drawn from a spot at 
the bottom of the paper, and the framework would resemble a range 
card made for the defence, with which it might well be combined. 

The area of country sketched must be easily identified on a small 
scale map. The names of any towns or villages in the vicinity, with the 


distances to them, must be shown on roads that appear on the sketch, 
and if there are no easily identified features, such as roads, woods, or 
important buildings, a ray or rays showing the direction and 
distance of some important distant features should be drawn. 

Road Sketches. 

If an enlargement is not possible, a sketch may be made of a road 
by the method of drawing rays just described. The sketch book is 
held so that the general direction of the road will run up the centre 
of the paper, and the north point is drawn on. 

Standing at the starting point on the road a ray is drawn ahgned 
on a distinctive object — a tree — at the first bend. The distance to 
the tree is paced and drawn to scale. It is now necessary to look 
back, and when the line just drawn is aligned on to the starting 
point the sketch is " set " with the road. The protractor is now 
pivoted on the position marked on the paper for the tree and ahgned 
on the object — a gate — at the next bend in the road, and the distance 
to it is paced and drawn to scale. 

On reaching the gate the sketch must be again set by looking- 
backwards and aligning on to the tree. When set a new ray is 
drawn to the next bend, and so on until the road sketch is complete,, 
the detail on each side being filled in as the distances are paced. 

This method of making a road sketch is known as traversing. 
For the completion of the sketch particulars are given in the de- 
scription of traversing by compass, etc. (page 102). 

Traversing with the straight-edge may be adopted in making- 
trench plans and also for billeting sketches when the direction of all 
roads can be easily obtained by this method, and particulars of the 
buildings, possible alarm posts, etc., put in, as the distances along 
the road are paced. On Plate XV. the " rays " necessary for the 
sketch are shown in red. 



General Principles. 

It is only when warfare has been conducted continuously over 
one area that military maps can be supplied to such scales as will 
show the information necessary to meet all needs. 

The regimental officer is called upon not to make military maps, 
but to supplement them by military sketches of limited areas — 
enlargements, eye-sketches, or traverses, such as can be made either 
with the simplest of instruments or without any at all. He must in 
addition be able to correct and add such information to the published 
maps as will assist the Intelligence Staff in the field. 

The methods by which military sketches are made has been fully 
explained. The actual method to be adopted for any purpose will 
depend upon circumstances ; given time for a relatively large area, 
where accuracy is essential, an enlargement is best, whilst for a small 
area, when speed is most important and the chief consideration is to 
show the disposition of troops, an eye-sketch will suffice. Generally 
speaking, however, any published map that is available should be 
made the basis of any further work. 

For successful military sketching two things are of paramount 
importance, rapidity and relevancy. Rapidity will be attained if the 
sketcher is thoroughly conversant with scales, conventional signs, 
the methods of showing hill features, and the technique of sketch- 
ing. Relevancy comes from a knowledge of the characteristics and 
functions of the various arms and an intelligent grasp of the object 
for w^hich the sketch is being made. 

The scales to be adopted and general information necessary for 
all military sketches has been dealt with elsewhere. Below is given 
the special information which should be unmistakably shown on 
sketches for the objects stated, and on Plate XYI. are shown the 
recognised symbols by which much of this is drawn. 


Special Information. 

This may be considered under the following heads : — 

(1) Defensive Position : — • 

a. Best positions for infantry and artillery, also supports, 

reserves, cavalry, etc. — Referred to by note. 

b. Field of fire and ranges to important points. — Lines show- 

ing direction and distance. 

c. Favourable lines for enemy's attack. — Arrows in blue. 

d. Possible positions for enemy's guns. — Referred to by note. 

e. Positions from which enemy can direct effective fire. — 

Referred to by note. 
/. Best line of retreat. — Arrows. 
g. Best lines for counter-attack. — Referred to by note. 

i^yiEnemy's Position : — 

a. Position of enemy's troops where ascertained. — Conventional 

signs for different arms in blue. 

b. Best line of attack. — Arrows. 

c. Obstacles. — Conventional signs and notes. 

d. Good points for enfilade fire. — Referred to by notes. 

e. Artillery positions. — Referred to by note. 

f. Good observation posts. — Referred to by note and marked 


g. Prominent points likely to guide attack by day and 

(especially) by night. — Enclosed in squares and referred 
to by note. 

(3) OutiJOst Position : — 

a. Position of supports, picquets, sentry groups and detached 

posts, with distances between same. — Conventional 

signs for troops. Positions by day in red, by night in 

h Direction of and distances to neighbouring picquets and 

supports. — Arrows. 



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m m 3O0 4O0 ^00 600 too aoo 9oo /ooo, 


Whins, overo^e 4-0" 4/fA. 
/^aca/m§un m. /lay stock co/nma/jc///^ rvtx/ 
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30" i V ->- ^ J. 

>t i!^r?>>^ A.B Jones. CopC: 

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Scale - fO/ = /M/'/e . /^.f6^5r~ 

|.W s? 10 /OO flOO ^00 

A . Centra/ /<eep 

B . Strong Poi/yts - Qood cellars 

C . Open Wood'- l//7aler^rok]/l^ cleared 

JD . Dress/a^ SCad'on 

E - Ditch, suitable Jor communicalioa 

r . J^econnoiCrin^ Pati^ol . 



tVame eRonk 


c. Position of machine guns, showing limit of angle of 

traverse. — Conventional sign and dotted red lines. 

d. Direction of reconnoitring patrol. — Dotted lines and 


e. Best line of retreat. — Arrows. 

/. Suitable approach from supports to picquet. — Arrows. 

g. Field of fire and ranges to points enemy will pass in 

advancing. — Lines showing direction and distance. 
h. Good observation posts. — Referred to by note and marked 

i. Ranges to important points commanded by picquet and 

not shown on sketch. — Lines showing direction and 

J. Probable direction of attack. — Arrow in blue. 

(4) Artillery Position : — 

a. Proposed position of guns and wagons. — Conventional 


b. Approaches : concealment and nature of ground. — Referred 

to by note. 

c. Natural screens. — Referred to by note. 

d. Observation posts. — Referred to by note and marked O.P. 

e. Line of advance from position. — Arrows. 

(5) Defence of a Village : — 

a. Buildings to form strong points. — Entrenchments shown, 
and reference to construction of buildings made by 

J. Keep. — Entrenchments shown, and reference to construc- 
tion of buildings made by not®. 

c. Obstacles, natural and artificial. — Conventional signs and 


d. Road barricades. — Conventional signs. 

e. Communication between keep and strong points. — Arrows 

in red. 


/. Demolitions. — Conventional signs. 
g. Field of fire. — Line showing direction and distance. 
h. Machine guns, showing limit of angle of traverse. — Con- 
ventional sign and dotted red lines. 
/. Direction of reconnoitring patrol. — Dotted line and arrows. 

(G) Routes:— 

a. Roads : width, surface, gradients affecting rate of march. — 

Referred to by note. 
h. Nature of fences. — Referred to by note. 

c. Ease of deployment. — Referred to by note'. 

d. Bridges. — Referred to by note, with figured sketches. 

e. Ground commanding and commanded by road. — Lines 

showing direction and distance. 
/. Possible ambuscades. — Referred to by note. 
g. Camping grounds. — Areas shown by enclosing line, and 

referred to by note. 

(7) Billets:— 

a. Number of men per house. — Figured. 
h. Post offices, telegraph, important buildings, and stabling. — 
Named and referred to by note. 

c. Allocation of quarters to each company or unit. — Enclosing- 

line and colour, with name of company or unit. 

d. Headquarters. — Shown in red. 

e. Officers' quarters. — Referred to by note. 
/. Transport. — Named. 

g. Parade grounds and alarm posts. — Shown by enclosing 

line, and referred to by note. 
h. Positions for latrines. — Referred to by note. 
i. Water supply and watering. — Conventional signs, and 

referred to by note. 

(8) Bivouacs : — 

a. Selected area (coloured) and accommodation for each 
company or unit. — Symbols for the various arms. 


I. Nature of soil, ground and drainage. — Referred to by note. 

c. Approaches. — Arrows. 

d. Means for protection. — Outpost line, dotted red. 

e. Position for headquarters. — Shown in red. 
/. Horse lines.^-Conventional sign. 

g. Positions for latrines. — Referred to by note. 

Il Alarm posts. — Shown by enclosing line, and referred to by 

i. Shelters and materials for shelters. — Referred to^by note. 
/. Water supply and watering. — Conventional signs, and 

referred to by note. 



Proficiency in Map Reading. 

The best practice to enable one to become proficient in map 
reading is map making. To read maps it is necessary to understand 
the scales to which they are drawn ; to know the conventional signs 
with which the natural and artificial features of the country are 
represented ; and, most important of all for military purposes, it is 
necessary to be thoroughly conversant with the methods of repre- 
senting hill features and to be able to read from contour lines and 
other methods of showing heights the formation of the ground. 

In mapping any tract of country one sees how formations of the 
ground — length, breadth and height — are shown on the flat surface 
of the paper, i.e. " in plan." This once understood, obviously every 
other map or " plan " will be more readily seen in relief, and to grasp 
the " third dimension " from a flat drawing is invariably the part of 
map reading which presents the greatest difficulty. Proficiency, 
then, in the reading of maps is best and most permanently obtained 
by map sketching. 

Constant practice in visualising country is invaluable. Before 
going over any area of ground look up the route and try to visualise 
the nature of the country with all its features, and what will and 
what will not be seen from certain points. Conversely, having 
studied a certain area of country, an attempt should be made to form 
a mental picture of the way in which that particular area will be 
shown on the map, always correcting the impression if possible on 
the site. In the same way the slopes of hills and gradients of roads 
should be estimated and then compared with the map. 

Characteristics of Maps. 

Identical information and methods of representation must not 
be expected from British and foreign maps and maps drawn to 
different scales. 


Many features are shown by different symbols on foreign maps, 
and the symbols vary on British maps according to the scale. All 
churches, for example, are shown by the same symbol on the J in. 
Ordnance maps, whereas on the 1 in. maps churches with and 
without towers and spires have different conventional signs. It is 
always advisable to consult the table of explanations shown at the 
foot of the map. 

Many features are altogether omitted on small scale maps — 
small woods, bye-roads and footpaths, for instance, will be rarely 
found. Again, certain lines and features are shown on maps which 
have no reference to the nature of the country, such as boundaries 
to parishes and counties (which must not be mistaken for footpaths) 
and private parks, which are clearly marked by stippling on British 
Ordnance maps, though they may not be distinguishable from the 
ground around. 

It is essential to know the characteristics of a map before 
attempting to read it. Maps are so numerous, and with new editions 
changes are so frequent, that it is only possible to give the scales and 
salient characteristics of the most important British and Continental 

British Maps.^ — The best known Ordnance maps are those drawn 
to scales of h in., 1 in. and 6 in. to the mile. Contours are shown 
on all three maps at a V.I. of 100 ft., with an additional contour 
line 50 ft. above sea level. The J in. map, R.F. 1 : 126,720, is 
published in outline and in colour. The coloured maps can be 
obtained with the contours supplemented (1) by shading, and (2) by 
layer tints. The 1 in. map, R.F. 1 : 63,360, is published in outline 
and in outline with hachures, also in colour (1) with hachures, and 
(2) with hachures and shading to supplement the contour lines. 
The 6 in. map, R.F. 1 : 10,560, is in outline. A considerable 
amount of detail is given, with full indication of its character. In 
addition to the contours numerous spot levels and bench marks 
are shown. 

* Indexes to aU the principal Government surveys, English and foreign, 
can be seen at Sifton, Praed & Co.'s ]^Iap House, 67 St. James's Street, and in 
peace times specimen sheets can be seen and obtained. 


Continental Maps. — Continental maps are drawn to metrical 
scales, the chief of which are given below. Hill features are shown 
by contours, hachures, contours and hachures, contours and shading, 
and in some cases contours and altitude tints. 

France.— ^Q2i\Q^ 1 : 80,000 and 1 : 50,000. The 1 : 80,000 map 
is in black, and the hill features are shown by hachures only. The 
1 : 50,000 map is in colours. The contours, at a Y.I. of 10 metres, 
are supplemented by shading, and every 50-metre contour is 

Russia. — Scale 1 : 126,000. This map is printed in outline, 
with the hill features shown by hachures. 

/jf%.— Scales 1 : 200,000^ and 1 : 100,000. The 1 : 200,000 
map is in colours. Y.I. of contours is 100 metres. The 1 : 100,000 
map is contoured at a Y.I. of 50 metres. Both maps show hachures 
or shading. 

Germany. — Scales 1:250,000, 1:200,000, 1:100,000 and 
1 : 25,000. The 1 : 250,000 map is in colours. Y.I. of contours 
10 metres. The 1 : 200,000 is also in colours. Contours are shown 
at a Y.I. of 20 metres. The 1 : 100,000 map can be obtained in 
outline and in colours. The Y.I. of contours is 50 metres. Hachures 
are also shown. 

Austria. — Scale 1 : 75,000 ; also 1 : 200,000, a map in colours 
(and hachured) of Central Europe. 

Spain. — Scale 1 : 50,000. This map is in colours. Y.I. of 
contours 20 metres. 

Belgiujn.— Scales, 1 : 100,000 and 1 : 40,000. The 1 : 100,000 
map is coloured and contoured at a Y.I. of 10 metres. The 
1 : 40,000 map is similarly coloured and contoured. 

Switzerland.— Scales, 1 : 50,000 and 1 : 25,000. The 1 : 50,000 
map is contoured at a Y.I. of 30 metres, with every 300 metres 
shown by dotted line. The 1 : 25,000 map is contoured at a Y.I. of 
10 metres. 

Special maps are pubUshed for the area of operations in war to 
large scales, such as 1 : 40,000, 1 : 20,000, 1 : 10,000, and in some 
cases 1 : 5,000. 


Setting a Map. 

A map is set when it is held or placed on the ground so that 
the north of the map points to the north, and the various features 
represented on the map are relatively correctly placed with regard to 
the objects themselves. AVhen a map is set points in the country 
can be identified. 

There are three ways of setting a map : (1) By compass ; (2) by 
points identifiable on the ground ; and (3) by a straight length of 
road or railway. 

1. Setting hy Compass. — Open the compass out flat and place it 
on the line of magnetic north, produced, if necessary, so that the 
line of direction of the compass, shown by the notch on the brass 
ring and the notch on the flange of the cover, is aligned with it. 
Turn the map slowly round without shaking the compass until the 
magnetic needle coincides with the line of magnetic north. The 
map is then set. 

2. Setting hy Points Identifiable on the Ground. — Two objects 
on the map are selected, one of which must be the position in 
which the map is being used and the other must be visible, say a 
church spire. Place the long edge of the service protractor on the 
line joining these two points and move the map round until the 
protractor is aligned on to the church. The map is set. If the 
point at which one is standing is not identifiable, choose two objects, 
one behind the other. Join the representations of these two 
objects on the map by a line, and when the line thus drawn points 
to the two objects on the ground, which are in alignment, the 
map is set. 

3. Setting hy a Straight Length of Road. — Hold the map in such 
a position that the road on the map points the same way as, or is 
parallel to, the road itself. Most churches are oriented and maps 
can accordingly be set by them. 

A map can always be approximately set, as it should be in map 
sketching, without using the compass or drawing rays when several 
recognised objects can be seen. 



It may be necessary sometimes to. find the exact position taken 
up on the ground if not standing near to any easily recognised 
objects. This may be done either with the compass — in which case 
the map need not be set — or by drawing rays. Resection by compass 
is explained on page 100 and on Plate XXXI. 

To " resect " a position without a compass the map must be first 
set. Two distinctive objects in the distance which can be identified 
on the map are noted. Placing a straight-edge on the map and 
pivoting it on the representation of the two objects in turn, rays are 
drawn when it is aligned with the objects in the country, and the 
intersection of the rays (produced backwards) will give the position. 
The angle made by the intersection should be neither obtuse nor 

If standing on a road obviously one's position can be resected by 
compass or straight-edge from one object only. The map is set, and 
when the straight-edge is placed on the representation of the object 
and aligned on the object in the country itself, a line drawn along it 
will cut the road at the point at which one is standing. 

Maps and the Ground. 

As soon as a map is opened out the scale to which it has been 
drawn must be ascertained. Only when this is known can one 
realise the relation of the map to the country, and the length of 
actual ground represented — e.g. by 1 in. on the map — be grasped. 

Maps are drawn with the top to the north, but the north point 
must be looked for, as by it the map will be set. In the right-hand 
margin of the map will be seen a little diagram showing the true 
north, and also the line of magnetic north (Plate III., 19). The 
amount of the magnetic variation for the part of the country shown 
on the map is figured. If the line of magnetic north is not shown it 
must be put on with the protractor if the map is to be *set by compass. 

"When the map is set one should be able to identify all the 
features of the country, both natural and artificial, and trace the 
various undulations of the ground. 


To identify any feaiiire, when doubts exist, it is only necessary 
to place the edge of the protractor on the map immediately over 
one's own position and the representation of the object it is desired 
to identify. The protractor will then point in the right direction. 
If it is desired to identify some distant feature of the country on the 
map the protractor is pivoted on the representation of one's position 
and aligned with that object. A line is drawn along the protractor, 
and somewhere along this line the desired feature wdll be found. 

Studying the formation of ground is more difficult than picking 
up such objects as buildings and woods. If the Y.I. of the contours 
is a large one, carefully note all spot levels. They give the height 
of the summits of hills and also of points intermediate between the 
contour lines, and are accordingly a great aid in realising the actual 
nature of the slopes. Hachures also define the various under- 
features, and should be well studied. 

It is a wise plan, if the streams are not Avell marked, to run a 
blue line along them, however small they may be. The rivers and 
streams, when their positions have been discovered on the ground, 
form a framework round about which the various formations of the 
ground can be identified. 

To identify the various features seen and to grasp ranges, it is, as 
has already been pointed out, absolutely essential to realise the 
relation of the scale of the map to the ground. Distances can be 
measured on the map in several ways, by dividers, the service pro- 
tractor, and a paper scale ; and it is worth noting that when accuracy 
to within 100 yards is not necessary, time need not be spent in 
referring to scales. The following will give approximate results : 
The width of the thumb placed on the map = 1 in. Four fingers 
= 3 in., and the hand 4 in. Both the diameter of ^d. and three 
lines on foolscap paper equal exactly 1 in. 

Allowance for the undulation of the ground will soon come with 
practice, but it is not easy to realise the "perspective" of the 
country. If two villages are both two miles away and only half 
a mile apart, owing to the foreshortening they will appear to be 
further apart from one another than they are from the observer. 



For the same reason bends in roads and rivers appear much more 
exaggerated on the ground than they really are and are shown on 
the map. 

In estimating distances the following should be remembered : — 

Distances are usually under-estimated — 

1. When made in bright sunlight or a clear atmosphere. 

2. TVhen the sun is behind the man estimating. 

3. "WTien made over uniform surfaces and over water. 

4. When the object is set off by a bright background. 

5. When made over undulating ground, and depressions 

cannot be seen. 
Distances are usually over-estimated — 

1. When made in a flickering Hghi;. 

2. When made against a dark background. 

3. When made against the sun. 

4. When the sky is overcast, or in the dusk. 

5. In foggy weather. 

6. In woods. 

Estimates made from a height downwards are usually too short, 
-and those made from low ground up, too great. 

The method of getting the exact position, and also the distance, 
of objects with the prismatic compass is explained in the description 
of the use of that instrument. 

Maps may have to be read by night under such conditions that 
no light of any kind must be shown. For this a Radium Map 
Reader is extremely useful. This little instrument consists of a 
lens, magnetic needle and scale, and is illuminated by radium. The 
Reader is placed on the map with the scale line in alignment with 
the marginal line — or a Hue parallel to it — and the map and Reader 
are turned round until the X end of needle points on the small arc 
showing degrees to the magnetic variation for the locahty. The 
map is then set and the Reader can be moved to any other part of 
the sheet. Xot only is the map lit up by the radium and magnified, 
but it is also possible with the aid of the magnetic needle and 
•graduated arc to estimate bearings. 


Visualising Country. 

Maps of country which has not been seen, and of the general 
character of which one has no indication, are best read if, before 
studying any part in detail, the following be the method of pro- 
cedure : — ■ 

(1) Look for the scale and thoroughly grasp the actual length of 
ground which is shown by 1 in. 

(2) Note the Y.I. of contours and the general method of showing 
hill features. 

(3) Measure or gauge the size of the sheet, and look upon it as 
representing an area of country of x miles by y miles. Picture 
what this means by comparison with any area of country which you 
know well and of the same size. Estimate the time it would take to 
march or ride from the bottom of the sheet to the top. 

(4) Look for the big rivers and their tributaries — the " system 
of drainage " — and note the highest hills. Form a general idea of 
the distribution of the low-lying valleys and the high ground — 
" Think in relief." 

(5) Look for the big towns and villages, the chief means of 
communication, and any prominent features such as forests, large 
commons, marshes, etc. 

When the map can be looked upon, not as a diagram but as a 
view of an expanse of country as seen from an aeroplane, picturing 
its general nature and characteristics, one may safely examine in 
detail the whole or any part required. 

Reference to Positions on Maps. 

In referring to positions on maps t'he number, name and scale of 
the map used must first be given. 

a. On the British Ordnance and other unsquared maps the 
position of a point is described with reference to the points and 
bearings of the compass and the lettering of the map : — 

(1) "Point, 320 yds. S. of the junction of OAK WOOD with 

E 2 


(2) "Copse, 480 yds., bearing 47° True from NETTLE BANK 

(3) "Hill, 850 yds. N. of M in FRAMPTON." 

Names of places must always be given in block letters, and letters 
referred to must be underlined. 

h. Squared Maps (Plate XIX.). In the case of squared maps 
reference to points is simplified. Maps are divided by strong lines, 
red or black, into a few rectangles distinguished by large block 
letters. These are divided by thinner lines into small squares, each 
of which is numbered and has sides of a definite length according to 
the map — e.g. 1000 yards. Each numbered square is again divided 
into four, each known by a letter (italics), a, h, c or r/, and having 
sides representing 500 yards in length. Only a few are actually 
lettered to avoid confusion. A point can be identified as being- 
A. 14. Jj. S.E. or any other point of the compass according to its 
position in the square &. If the reference is A. 14. h. it is understood 
to mean the centre of the square. 

On Plate XIX. the position of the Hall would be T. 9. a. and the 
cutting T. 8. a. N.W. 

For greater accuracy in describing a position each small square 
can be divided into 100. The sides of the 500 yards squares on 
most maps are divided into 10 by small ticks, and lines are simply 
drawn across (Plate XIX.). The lines are always numbered from 
the bottom left-hand or S.W. corner, which is called zero. Distances 
are measured from W. to E. along the bottom line first, and then 
from S. to N., to give the exact position of the point. The X. and S. 
line is never taken first. Example : A. 14. &. 27., meaning that the 
point is 2 squares from the left side of the square h and 7 squares up. 

On Plate XIX. the position of the farm would be T. 8. d. 01. 

If still greater accuracy is required one of the smaller squares 
just drawn can be imagined to be again subdivided into 100 squares, 
and the position of the point is described to two places of decimals, 
always using, to avoid confusion, four figures, never three — thus : 
A. 14. h. 20*78, meaning that the point is exactly two squares from 
the left side of square h and i^ths beyond the square 7. 












POSITION OF THE WINDMIU. IS TS.d 86. or more acmrofeJy- T. 8 d 87.67. 

POSITION OP THE CHURCH IS T. 8 .6.58. or. mort accun,r»/y - T. 8 .<i.32Be 

POSITION Of" rue ir*N \Sr.Q. d.A2. or ,r7ortaecara/,/y TS.d.-^S.Z?. 


Oil Plate XIX. the position of the school would l)e T. 8. d. 07 • 97. 

The same system of squaring is used on maps drawn to the 
scale of 1 : 40,000, 1 : 20,000, 1 : 10,000 and 1 : 5,0u(>, the squares 
obviously becoming larger as the scale of the map increases. It is, 
therefore, possible to refer to a point on the 1 : In, 000 map, and 
locate it on the 1 : 40,000. With the aid of these squares, distances 
and ranges can be rapidly gauged. 

Pieces of celluloid can be obtained* which have squares ruled on to 
show the 500 yds. square divided into fifties for the different scale 
maps, and their use saves much time and also covering the map with 
pencil lines. 

Other methods of squaring maps have been used, but the prin- 
ciple is the same, and an explanation is always given at the foot of 
the sheet. 

* Price 2/- net. Sifton, Praed & Co., Ltd. 


1. Landscape Sketches page 

Value of Military Sketching 72 

Panorama Sketches . . . . . . . . .74 

Target Indication ......... 76 

2. The Technique of Sketching 

Constructing the Framework . . • 78 

Filling in the Details 81 

Completing the Sketch ■ . . . . . . . .84 



Value of Military Sketching. 

The object of a military sketch is the collection and transmission 
of information in a simple and legible form. Landscape sketching 
for militaiT purposes does not necessarily presuppose an accomplished 
draughtsman ; almost every officer and most X.C.Os. with practice can 
gain sufficient facility with pen or pencil to enable them to make a 
drawing which will convey information of military value. 

The uses to which landscape sketching can be put are as 
follows : — 

1. In unmapped country the only method of recording graphically 
some necessary and important information may be the panorama 
sketch. Ground occupied by the enemy, foreign territory, or ground 
that for any reason cannot be traversed can be shown by a panorama 
sketch which — made from some point of vantage — may give all the 
information necessary for the consideration of some strategical or 
tactical scheme. Such a sketch is, in effect, an " elevation " of the 
country, taking the place of the " plan " or map. 

2. A panorama sketch may be a valuable adjunct to a map. A 
sketch showing the country over which it is intended to make an 
advance, a position held by the enemy, or a proposed site of battle 
will give much useful supplementary information. 

There are many things which the official maps alone cannot show. 
The nature of fences, whether they are likely to give cover or not, 
the wooded nature of the country, crops, minor undulations of the 
ground or prominent objects — these, and many other features, all of 
military importance, can best be indicated by a sketch. On Plate 
YIII. will be found a sketch map on which is marked the area of 
country actually shown on the panorama (Plate XXYIIL). The two 
sketches should be compared. 


Time is of importance. A large area of country can be shown by 
a panorama sketcli in one hour ; to map the same area would be a 
matter of days. 

3. In the manual of Field Artillery Training the use of the 
panorama sketch to the battery commander is described as follows : — 
" A panorama sketch of the enemy's position should, if possible, be 
made, and will save much writing. For firing at moving objects 
from under cover, for switches, and in night tiring a sketch of this 
nature is invaluable." Plate XXI. shows a panorama sketch made 
for artillery purposes, omitting, however, the angles of sight. A 
panorama range card is similarly useful to machine gun and trench 
mortar batteries. 

•4. Panorama sketches and range cards for rifle fire can be 
combined. A panorama range card for a defensive position is shown 
on Plate XXVIII. By sending back such sketches to the outpost 
commander the picquet commander gives valuable information as to 
the nature of the ground over which the enemy will have to advance 
or the position he may hold. 

5. Sketches effectively indicate the position of targets. In trench 
warfare such detail sketches as shown in Plate XXYI. are of use as 
indicating the position of snipers, trench mortars, machine guns, etc. 
They are useful for our own snipers and batteries and to hand over 
to a new unit when the line is relieved. 

Landscape sketching trains a man to become observant. The 
painter who, in his sketching, is always looking for the beautiful in 
the landscape will naturally, when not at work, see more readily than 
the layman the artistic possibilities of the country side. A man who 
sketches trying to discern and show points of military importance 
will similarly grasp mo]"e readily in the course of his daily work many 
little points of military value — he develops an "eye for country." 
Intelligent landscape sketching is also a great aid to efficiency in 
map reading. 

The ability to sketch is a useful accomplishment. Sketches of 
landmarks, bridges, fortifications or buildings which it is desired to 
put into a state of defence are useftil additions to reports and sketch 


maps (Plate XYI.) and convey more information than the most 
elaborate and carefully written descriptions. 

Panorama Sketches. 

Panorama sketches are made, as a rule, in Army Book 153, the 
paper of which is smooth, and therefore suitable for both ink and 
pencil work. The faint blue squares will also be found a guide in 
both making and finishing up the drawing. 

The pencil used may be an H.B., F. or H., but nothing softer 
than an H.B. Lines made with a soft pencil rub easily, and varying 
pressure with the pencils recommended will always give the necessary 
different strength of line for objects in the distance and foreground. 
The pencil must be kept sharply pointed. Chalks^red, blue and 
brown — are required. 

Pencil and chalk drawings are liable to get rubbed and smeared 
with use. This may be to a certain extent obviated if the surface 
of the paper is washed over with milk or water. 

Drawings which are likely to be handled a lot would be more 
permanent if made in waterproof Indian ink. Ink, also, as a medium 
has its limitations, and the sketcher will find it easier to simplify and 
conventionalise with the pen than with the pencil (Plate XXYI.). 
The value of a panorama drawing will greatly increase according to 
the number of copies available. If the drawing be made with the 
necessary special ink very simple and small apparatus (such as the 
Hectograph) would be required to reproduce in the field sufficient 
copies for all purposes. 

The selection of a suitable position from which to make the 
drawing is important. Unless the sketch is to be made from a 
position already fixed {i.e. an outpost line) a spot commanding good 
views with little obstruction in the foreground should be chosen. 
If in proximity to the enemy concealment must be considered. 
A suitable background is necessary and as little movement as possible 
must be made. 

The next step is to decide upon the extent of country to be 
shown. The area of country that can be conveniently sketched and 



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drawn to a reasonable size on one page of Army Book 153^ 
6J in. X 4J in. — will be found to be that which is included in an 
angle of 30° from the spectator. 

A simple way of ascertaining approximately how much of the 
ground is included in this angle is to place the thumbs together (not 
the tips only) and stretch the fingers out to their full extent, then 
with the arms extended in front the two extreme finger-tips wil) 
show the limits of the views, i.e. subtend an angle of 30'. At arm's 
length also the outstretched fingers and thumb of one hand subtend 
an angle of 18', and the knuckles of the clenched fist 8°. 

If it is desired to show a greater extent of country than is 
included in the angle of 30', it is better if the sketches be made on 
separate pieces of paper and fastened together afterwards (Plate XX.). 
In the case of telescopic sketches — sketches made by the aid of a 
telescope or powerful field-glasses of country some distance away and 
omitting the intervening ground (Plate XXII.) — the angle of view 
may be less than 10". That the angle be 30° is not a hard-and-fast 
rule. To show any given extent of ground the further away the 
sketcher is the less the angle necessary, the nearer he is the greater. 

With an angle of 30' the following shows the extent of frontage 
at given distances : — 

Distance 100 yds. Extent of Frontage 50 yds. 
„ 500 yds. „ 275 yds. 

„ 1000 yds. „ 550 yds. 

„ 2500 yds. „ 1300 yds. 

„ 5000 yds. „ 2600 yds. 

„ 5 miles „ 4500 yds. 

Before attempting the panorama it is most essential that the 
sketcher should fully realise the object for which the drawing is 
being made. That it is to give information is obvious, but it is 
necessary to give the right kind of information for the object in 
view, and anything which is not relevant must be omitted. A 
photograph, though it may take time to reproduce, will give an 
accurate representation of the country, but it is only the sketch which 
can emphasise the points of military value. 


The gTound must be thoroughly examined through field-glasses, 
and whenever possible with the aid of the map. Xo attempt should 
be made to put pencil to paper until the ground has been most 
carefully analysed, bit by bit ; then, and only then, can an intelligent 
military drawing be expected as a result. 

What to show and what to omit will depend upon the purpose 
of the sketch. Except in the case of sketches made from trenches 
the immediate foreground is of no value, since obviously it can only 
be of very short extent and may change 50 yards to the right or left 
of the sketcher's position. It should, therefore, be omitted, as should 
any trees or buildings which obstruct the view. "With the absence 
of foreground the front on which the sketch will present a similar 
appearance will be extended. 

Conspicuous landmarks and all features of military importance, 
roads, bridges, rivers, marshes, woods, hedges, folds in the ground giving 
cover, the nature of the ground itself, and in particular information 
not conveyed on the maps, must be clearly shown. 

Target Indication. 

A type of sketch, which cannot properly be called a panorama, 
since it embraces in most cases so small an angle of view, is that 
which is made in trench warfare for the purpose of recording the 
position of targets, such as sniper posts, observation posts, machine 
guns, batteries, etc. 

The aim in making such sketches is to show at a glance any 
desired position, perhaps 'hardly noticeable to the naked eye, by 
linking it up with more or less prominent and easily identified 
objects of the landscape. The salient characteristics of these objects 
must be accentuated, and by shading, colour, or pronounced lines 
the eye should be carried at once to the target. 

Sketches for the identification of targets can be made through a 
periscope, with which also field-glasses can be used. The periscope 
is securely fixed in such a position as to show the desired area, and 
it will be found that sketching, when the view is limited by a small 
aperture, is much simplified. If the area to be shown is extensive, 

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the periscope can be moved round and two or tliree drawincrs made, 
which can be pieced together afterwards if features common to 
adjoining sheets are shown on their extreme edges. 

In the selection of easily recognisable features around the target^ 
care must be taken to choose those which as nearly as possible are 
in the same plane as the target itself, since the latter may not 
always be viewed from the spot from which the sketch was made, 
and would, therefore, appear in a different position in relation to 
objects much in advance or to the rear of it if seen from any other 

For the actual drawing, the principles laid down for panorama 
sketching apply equally to the sketches now described. The drawing 
is completed as shown in Plate XXYI. The position from which it 
has been made must be given by a map reference, and the compass 
bearing on to the target itself is shown. In addition, a map 
reference should be given to some identifiable features near to the 
actual object. 



Constructing the Framework. 

On the paper mark the limit in width of the sketch. This should 
be 6 in., or the length of the service protractor, and will leave with 
Army Book 153 a margin of about :| in. at each edge. Next hold a 
pencil upright and at arm's length, with the tip coinciding with the 
sky-line, and slide the thumb up or down until the top of it appears 
to just cover the point in the foreground w^hich it has been decided 
shall be the limit in depth to be shown on the sketch. Holding the 
pencil horizontally, find how many times this, the depth, will go into 
the length decided upon, and mark off on the paper the proper pro- 
portion of the sketch accordingly. This should be carefully done, as 
one of the chief difficulties in panorama sketching is obtaining proper 
proportions. The usual tendency is to make the sketch too deep, 
nearly a square, when the proportion of depth to length will more 
probably be 1 to 6. 

The general shape of the sketch, which has now been ascertained, 
must be indicated on the lower half of the paper in order to leave 
room above for the heading and descriptions. 

Within this oblong all the features of the selected area of country 
are to be drawn. Imagine a small window in a room similar in size 
to the oblong, and that one is standing in such a position that 
through the glass the exact area of country to be sketched can be 
seen. Standing in the one position, with a long paint-brush it would 
be possible to draw on the glass all the lines of the country just as 
they were there seen, and the result would be a panorama sketch. 

In the first stages of a panorama drawing, imagine a sheet of 
glass in fipnt of your position, and that all the features of the 
country, whether five yards or five miles away, are on that glass, or, 


in other words, in one vertical plane. Then fix, by any of the fol- 
lowing methods, a number of conspicuous features in the landscape 
in their correct relative positions on jour paper (see features in 
black, Plate XXIV.), and the result will be a diagram or framework 
round which the remaining details of the country can be drawn with 
little fear of going wrong. 

The framework of fixed points can be obtained in several different 
ways : — 

1. Compass Bearings. — Bearings are taken with a prismatic 
compass on to objects which are on the right and left limits of the 
area to be sketched. These will be represented by the lines drawn 
down the two edges of the paper, and the space between is divided up 
to show, say, every 5 degrees. Compass bearings are now taken on 
other objects, and their position recorded on paper by means of the 
dividing lines thus drawn. If desired, the position of various 
features as regards their height on the sketch can be obtained by 
means of a clinometer. This is an accurate but slow method. 

2. Graticules. — As in the previous method, compass bearings are 
taken on to the objects forming the right and left limits of the area 
to be sketched, and the space between the lines representing these 
limits on the paper is divided up to show degrees. 

With field-glasses having lines marked vertically across them, each 
representing an angle of one degree from the eye — graticules — the 
number of degrees any object is to the right or left of the limits of 
the sketch can readily be found. Important detail is at the same 
time rendered visible with the glasses. 

3. Squared Celluloid.— K piece of celluloid with 1 in. squares drawn 
on to correspond with every fourth square of Army Book 153 is held 
or fixed in such a position in front of the sketcher that he sees through 
it the exact extent of country he wishes to show. Important features 
(and much of the detail) are then drawn on the paper, square by 
square, as seen through the squares of the celluloid. 

Celluloid may be marked in other ways than by 1 in. squares. 
It may be marked to show every two or five degrees at a given 
distance from the eye. The method of use is similar to the above, 


but lines must be drawn on the paper to correspond with the lines 
of the celluloid. 

4. Service Protractor. — The service protractor is so held in front 
of the sketcher that the two short edges appear to coincide with 
imaginary vertical lines running through the objects chosen as the 
limits of the view. The position of other objects is noted with regard 
to the various marks shown on the long edge of the protractor, which 
is then placed on the sketch, the length of which is 6 in., equal to the 
protractor, and the position of the objects can be ticked off. 

If there are many points to be fixed, it is a good plan, when the 
protractor is correctly held, to attach a piece of string to it and make 
a knot in the other end so that it can be held by the teeth. The 
protractor then will be always held the same distance away, and it 
can be turned sideways to fix the different points in the height of 
the sketch. 

5. Book. — The sketch-book is held upright in the left hand so that 
the lines on it which denote the limit of the view coincide with the 
actual limits, With the right hand lines are drawn down the book 
to indicate the points where various features appear to cut the top 
edge of the paper, and on them the features are drawn in their correct 

6. Thuml) and Pe«a7.— (Plate XXIV.) The method of finding 
the proportion of the depth to the length of the drawing has already 
been described, using the pencil and thumb. In a similar way by 
moving the thumb along the pencil and by trial the position of 
the centre line and lines dividing the length into quarters, and 
also a line one-half the depth of the picture, can be fixed. Note 
objects in the country where these lines occur and mark them on the 

Whichever method be adopted, and any of the above may be 
combined, practice will lead to speed, and as time goes on it will be 
necessary to fix fewer and fewer points. 

When the "framework" has been constructed by fixing various 
prominent objects, these are linked together by drawing in the main 
features of the country, roads, rivers, hills, and folds in the ground 

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(g-L'cen lines, Plate XXIV.) These are shown Ijy single light lines — 
jnst the bare skeleton — and any mistakes that may have been made 
in proportion are now corrected. 

The usnal tendency to exaggerate the slopes of hills must be 
checked, and until a sense of proportion is developed the following 
method should be adopted in drawing both the hills and roads, fences 
and other long lines of the landscape : — 

Hold the book upright with the protector, kept in place by the 
thumb, showing above the top edge. Then, keeping the edge of the 
book quite horizontal, the free end of the protector is moved up and 
down until the top edge is aligned with the slope it is desired to 
draw. Along the bottom edge a pencil line is now drawn which will 
<act as a guide in drawing in the required features. 

The general proportions correct, such detail as may be necessary 
for the object of the sketch is now shown. 

Filling in the Details. 

In completing the sketch by the addition of the necessary detail 
there are five important points to be borne in mind. 

1. The sky-line and all features in the distance must be drawn 
lightly, and with a simple line, and each nearer " vertical plane " 
with its various features must be drawn more distinctly than the one 
more remote, until the foreground is reached and shown by strong 
black lines. 

2. Draw in outline. Attempt no light and shade or the indication 
of small detail. Let every feature be shown by its outline or 

8. All features, both natural and artificial, must be simplified 
<ind conventionalised. This does not mean using the symbols for 
map sketching, but rather showing objects by shapes which take 
but little time to draw and at the same time convey the desired 

4. x\ll the features should be relatively correct in size. There 
is always a tendency to exaggerate both the slopes of the ground 


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and the size of roads, trees, houses, etc., which has the effect of 
making these objects appear to be nearer than they really are. 

5. The perspective must be correct. Eemember that hedges^ 
roads, railways, etc., will appear to get smaller as they recede from 
the sketcher. 

Study the landscape through glasses and after careful analysiSy 
bit by bit, begin by drawing in Hghtly (but not so lightly that the 
lines will be easily rubbed out) the sky-line and distant folds in the 
ground. Features on these planes will be small and very simple. 
Continue by drawing the nearer planes with darker lines, at the same 
time paying more attention to the form and detail of the objects 
contained on them, until in the foreground the actual shapes of trees, 
buildings, etc., may be suggested. Plate XXVII. will show how ta 
simplify and draw the various features of which the sketch will be 
composed. The following examples are given : — 

Roads. — Roads are shown by two continuous lines, the width 
diminishing as they recede. They are coloured brown. Roads 
passing over hills or spurs should be carefully drawn to express the 
shape of the ground over which they run. 

Ponds. — Ponds and lakes are shown by outline and coloured blue. 

Rivers. — The lines for rivers should have a special quality 
expressing the broken water's edge. They are coloured blue. 

Woods. — The amount of detail varies according to the distance. 
"Woods far away are shown by single outline, and for those near to 
the shape of the tops of trees is indicated. Fir woods are shown by 
a series of angular lines. 

Trees. — Trees are shown in outhne only. Trees in the fore~ 
ground are indicated by an outline expressive of the general character 
of the tree according to its type. Dead trees and trees destroyed by 
shell fire are shown with a trunk and a few ticks or broken lines for 
the branches. 

Heath. — A heath is shown by a series of short ticks. The shape 
of gorse bushes may be shown as indicated. 

Fences. — Fences are shown by single or double lines. By carefully 
drawn fences the character of minor folds in the ground can be 














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indicated. The furrows of ploughed fields may be shown, and they 
similarly indicate the undulations of the ground. 

Railways. — Railways in the distance are shown by single line 
only. Little ticks for telegraph poles usually mark their position. 

Emhanhments. — Short curved lines show both the shape and 
extent— in depth and length — of an embankment. 

Bridges. — Bridges are show^n in outline — piers, arches and parapet 
only being indicated. 

Churches. — Shown in outline, sufficient to indicate shape and mass. 
No details necessary. Red is used for the roofs. 

Villages. — Villages both in the distance and near to are shown by 
a few rectangular shapes as a contrast to the undulating lines of the 
country round. Touches of red are used to show the roofs of 

Houses. — Houses are shown in single outline, with any charac- 
teristic features clearly marked. Red is used for the roofs. 

Cuttings. — The outline of the cutting is drawn, and short lines or 
ticks, slightly darker at the top than the bottom, are drawn down the 

Cliffs. — The fissures in the rocks are suggested by short broken 
lines. Loose stones or shale can be shown by a few lines and dots. 

Quarries. — The edge or outline of the quarry is shown by a 
dark line with a few vertical lines to show the cut rock and fissures. 

Do not show any shade or shadows. Light lines may be drawn 
across woods and belts of trees — curved to indicate the surface of the 
object — when it is necessary to emphasise targets or to make a 
distinction between different planes which might otherwise become 
confused. (Plate XXIX.). 

In general, simplify as far as possible, showing features in outline 
and eliminating entirely all unimportant little details. Emphasise 
all targets and points likely to be of military importance, always 
remembering the object for which the sketch is being made. Never 
attempt to make a picture. 

Plates XX. to XXIX. give examples of panorama sketches and 
should be studied. A little practice in copying suitable pen and 

F 2 


pencil sketches will enable the draughtsman to gain confidence before 
making his first panorama out of doors. 

Completing the Sketch. 

Landscape sketches should be finished with such clearness and pre- 
cision that they can be studied under the most adverse circumstances. 
Artistic effect is never desirable — a clear expression of facts having 
some military value should be the aim of every draughtsman in the 

Colour helps to make the sketch readable. Red chalk is used 
for buildings, blue for water ; and brown for the roads will help to 
make the distant windings and turnings more easily followed. 

The written information is of almost equal value with the sketch. 
It should be in block letters or, for the smaller notes, italics. 

Headings. — Every panorama must have its heading stating the 
part of the country sketched and the general purpose of the drawing. 

Objects and Ranges.- — Objects must be named and any useful 
information concerning them — e.g. nature of crops, density of woods, 
materials of bridges, etc. — should be stated. The ranges must be 
given and a note added in the bottom left-hand corner of the sketch 
stating the method adopted to obtain the distances, whether by 
range-finder, estimation, or from the map. Both the ranges and 
particulars of objects unseen (but shown on the map) should l)e 
stated if important, and the position and extent of dead ground 
should always be noted. 

Ranges are shown from one point, that from which the sketch 
was made. If that point be the centre of a position 400 yards in 
extent, in 1000 yards the difference of the range to any point from 
the centre and from the flank of the position would never be greater 
than 50 yards, that is with a visual angle of 30°. 

The names and ranges of the various objects may be printed 
horizontally, diagonally or vertically. If there are many objects to 
be named horizontal lettering may become confused — lettering in 
diagonal lines is perhaps the best. 

Compass Bearings. — All panorama sketches should show at least 


one compass bearing, or the direction of the centre of the picture 
maj be stated. It is advisable to note the bearings of the objects on 
the extreme right and left of the drawing ; with these the sector of 
ground sketched can be at once noted on the map and map and 
panorama be read together. 

Position. — The position from which the sketch has been made 
must be definitely stated, or it may be shown on a small sketch map 
at the foot. The height (of the position) above sea-level must be 
noted, also the height of any building or tree from which the sketch 
was made. 

Signature. — The name, rank and regiment of the sketcher, also 
the date, hour, and state of weather, is shown in the bottom right- 
hand corner. 

References. — Any features which are referred to in an accom- 
panying report must have some letter or number, preferably in red, 
and enclosed in a circle on both sketch and report. 


1. The Compass and Protractor page 

The Magnetic Compass ........ 88 

True North and Magnetic North 90 

Bearings ........... 91 

Correcting a Compass ........ 93 

2. Marching by Compass 

Marching by Day 95 

Marching by Night 96 

Obstacles 97 

3. The Compass in Map Making 

Triangulation .......... 99 

Adding Information to Maps 100 

Traversing .......... 102 

Field-Book Notes 104 

4. Trench Plans 

Trench Sketching 105 

The Compass Traverse ........ 106 

Plotting the Traverse 107 

Completing the Plan ' . . 109 



The Magnetic Compass. 

This is a sensitive little instrument, of great use to the soldier^ 
and liable to develop inaccuracies if not carefully handled. 

There are several types of magnetic compass. The Service 
Prismatic Compass consists of a metal box, in the centre of which 
is a pin on which the magnetic needle rests. Attached to the needle 
is the compass card or dial, which is divided to show every degree,. 
and has two sets of figures, one for direct reading and the other, the 
outer, which is reversed, for use with the prism. The centre of the 
card is luminous. On one side of the box is a clamping screw which 
lifts the needle off the pin when not in use, so preventing unnecessary 
wear and loss in accuracy. A little check-spring acts as a break and 
helps to make the card settle more rapidly. A prism, which can be 
focused by raising or lowering the little brass knob, is attached, and 
through it one can read the " bearing " on the card whilst at the same 
time looking through the little slit above — which acts like a back- 
sight — and aligning the hair line — " fore-sight " — on the hinged cover 
on some distant object (Plate XXX.). The " fore-sight " — tech- 
nically called the sighting vane — is a hair line scratched on the glass. 
window of the cover. Immediately above and below it are two small 
holes. Should the glass be smashed, wire or cotton can be threaded 
through them to form a new sighting vane. 

For night work the compass before use must be exposed to a 
bright Hght. To set it, the brass ring round the box, graduated to 
show every 5°, is used. The revolving glass cover of the box has a 
black directing mark painted on it, and corresponding with this a 
little brass nick on the rim. The cover is moved round until the brass- 
nick, called the setting vane, is ahgned with the required bearing as. 


^^^,X'^'^^ TRUE 6 Maa4EnC NORTH 

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sliown on the brass ring-, and is then fixed in position by tlie clamping 
screw with the milled head. When the compass is so held that the 
N. point is directly underneath the black directing mark, the two 
patches of luminous paint inside the hinged cover indicate the 
direction in which to march. 

The compass just described is known as the " Mark YI " Service 
Prismatic Compass. The " Mark YII " is similar, with the excep- 
tion of the luminous paint, which in the " Mark YII " is of radium 
compound, and need not be " charged " before using. Both the 
" Mark YI " and the " Mark YII " compass have dry cards, i.e. the 
card is balanced on a pivot, which takes all the weight, and owing 
to the tremors of the hand and the difficulty of holding the compass- 
steadily in windy weather, the card is very " lively " and does not 
readily come to rest. 

Essential qualities in a compass are sensitiveness and steadiness. 
Liquid compasses of various patterns are made in w^hich the card^ 
immersed in spirit, is steadier, and normally will come to rest in 
one-sixth the time a dry card takes. 

A compass of the " Mark YII " type can be obtained in which 
the card is immersed in spirit and also has a transparent celluloid 
edge. Directly underneath the prism a spot of radium paint is- 
lixed, and bearings can therefore be read at night. There are other 
types of liquid compass which owing to their special construction^ 
such as the combination of float and card, and the use of an inverted 
pivot — reducing the weight of the card and giving greater buoyancy 
— are extremely sensitive and steady, and in which the reading of 
the card is not only magnified, but also shown in radium compound^ 
making them particularly suitable for night work. 

A magnapole is a compass which is used primarily for night 
marching, and works on the principle designed for night work with 
the service prismatic compass. 

A compass which is likely to be used in another part of the globe 
should, if it has a large card, be taken to the makers, who will make 
any adjustment that may be necessary to allow for the compass. 
" Dip." 


True North and Magnetic North. 

The magnetic needle of the compass always points to the Magnetic 
North, and not the True North or North Pole. The N. Magnetic 
Pole is situated at one of the Northern Islands of Canada, and if it 
were possible to march from the Magnetic Pole to the True North 
Pole as the needle is attracted by the Magnetic Pole according to the 
compass one would be marching due S., though in reality going due N. 

In such a case the difference between True North and Magnetic 
North, known as the Magnetic Variation, would be 180°, or half the 
circumference of the compass card. The magnetic yariation is not 
always 180°, but yaries in different parts of the world, sometimes the 
needle points to the E., sometimes to the W. of true N. In London 
the magnetic yariation is 15° TV., Arras 14° W., whilst in Petrograd 
it is 2° E. It will be thus seen, and must always be remembered, 
that True North and Magnetic North, with few exceptions, do not 

Maps are drawn with the top towards the true N. In the 
right-hand margin of a map there usually will be found a little 
diagram (Plate XXX.) which shows the lines of both true and 
magnetic N. The former is shown with a star, and the latter with 
an arrow-head, and a figure states the amount of the yariation. 
There may be an annual increase or decrease, and knowing the date of 
the map allowance must be accordingly made if the map is an old one. 

If there is no indication on the map of the amount of the mag- 
netic yariation, it can be found as follows : — Choose two objects on 
the ground — objects that can be identified on the map, and prefer- 
ably at least a mile apart. From one point take a " bearing " with 
the compass on to the other, and note the reading. Join the two 
points on the map. Through the representation of the object from 
which the compass reading was taken, draw a true N. and S. line. 
The difference between the angle made by this line and the line 
joining the two points and the reading giyen by the compass will be 
the amount of the magnetic yariation. If without a map, a true N. 
and S. hue must first be ascertained from the sun's shadow or a 
known star — e.g. the pole star. This line is indicated on the ground, 


and compared with the dkection of the North as shown by the 
magnetic compass. 

True North is always referred to in operation and other orders. 
Since the magnetic needle of the compass points to the magnetic N., 
and the " bearing " of a position is given in relation to true N., it 
will be seen that some adjustment must be made before using the 
compass to march by (Plate XXX.). 

If in London (Mag. Variation 15° W.) and told to march due E. — 
90"" true — 15° must be added, and the compass bearing will be 105°. 
If the magnetic variation is 15° W. when the compass card is at rest 
and the needle pointing to magnetic N., the position of true N. is 
indicated by the reading of 15°. True E., 90° to the right of the N., 
must be 105° as shown on the compass card. Plate XXX. will 
explain this. Similarly, if told to march due AVest — 270° true — the 
magnetic bearing would be 285°. If at Petrograd (Mag.Yariation 2° E.) 
and told to march due W. — 270° true — 2° must be deducted, and the 
compass bearing will be 268°. In this case when the magnetic needle is 
pointing to the magnetic N., true N. will be 358°, or 2° to the left of 
magnetic N., 270° the true bearing on which it is desired to march 
added to 358° = 268° (Plate XXX.). 90° true would be 88° magnetic. 

If a true bearing is taken from a map and it is desired to march 
by compass on that bearing, or, with the compass identify in the 
distance the spot of which the bearing is given, it will be seen that 
it is necessary to add or deduct the amount of the magnetic variation 
for the locality according to whether the variation is to the AY. 
or the E. of true N. Conversely, it must be obvious that if a bearing 
has been taken with a compass on to a distant object, and it is 
required to draw this bearing on the map in order to identify the 
object, the amount of the magnetic variation must be deducted if 
the Mag. Variation is W., and added if E. 


The points and degrees of the compass are used to express the 
direction of one object from another. A bearing is the angle a 
line makes with the N. line, and is expressed in degrees. It may be 


true or magnetic according to Tvlietber it expresses the angle made 
with the true or magnetic N. line. If standing on a road which runs 
true N. and S. with a churcl] some distance away to one side, and the 
angle between the road and a line joining one's position with the 
church is 48°, that would be the true bearing of the church. In 
effect, a bearing is the line of direction. 

On maps the bearing, or direction of one object from another, 
is found by using a protractor. The degrees of the compass are 
always measured clockwise from the X., and protractors are graduated 
accordingly. The service protractor, an extremely useful article, is 
rectangular, and measures G in. by 2 in. The long side with the 
little arrow head should be considered as a true N. and S. line. On 
the bevelled edge the degrees are marked ; the outer row of figures 
gives the readings to 180, and by turning the protractor round 
readings from 180 to 360 can be taken from the inner row. 

To take a bearing from a map it is necessary to draw first a true 
N. and S. line through the representation on the map of tlie place 
at which one is stationed. A line parallel to the right or left sides 
of the map if it is drawn with the top facing the N. will give the 
line approximately, but it should be noticed that the line of true N. 
as shown in the margin is frequently not absolutely parallel to the 
side, and in such cases the line must be drawn parallel to the true N. 
line, or a meridian, if shown. 

A meridian of longitude is a true N. and S. line. There is a 
ruling meridian for each country, and maps of the area through 
which the meridian passes have sides which are true N. and S. lines. 

All the sheet maps of a country have their sides square to one 
another in order that the sheets may be correctly pieced together. 
Meridians of longitude converge to the N. pole ; as there is one ruling 
meridian for the country mapped, and all the maps have sides which 
are parallel to one another, the further the area shown on map is 
from the ruling meridian the greater will be the difference between 
the sides of the m-^p and the line of true North. 

Whenever possible a meridian should be drawn — in ink — across 
the centre of the map, and X. and S. lines can be readily indicated 
parallel to this whenever required. 


Having ascertained the true X. and S. line, next draw a line 
from the point at which one is stationed to the point which it is 
desired to reach, and produce, if necessary, so that the line shall be 
about 4 in. long, and protrude l)eyond the protractor (Plate XXX.). 
To ensure accuracy a finely-pointed pencil only must be used. Place 
the protractor on the map so that the point of the arrow is exactly 
on the spot from which the bearing is being taken, and the edge of 
the protractor aligned with the X. and S. line. If the bearing to be 
taken is on the E. side of the b'ne — 0"" to 180'^ — the protractor will 
be placed on the right side of the line ; if to the W. — 180° to o()()° — 
it will be on the left. Xote the reading on the edge of the pro- 
tractor where the line joining the two points passes underneath. 
This gives the angle or bearing of the object. To obtain the mag- 
netic bearing to enable one to march on the object by compass the 
amount of magnetic variation is added or deducted, according to 
whether the variation is to the West or the East. 

When bearings are taken on to objects in the country, and it is 
desired to plot them on the map in order to identify them, a true 
X. and S. line is drawn through the representation of the spot from 
which the bearing has been taken, and the reading in degrees on the 
compass minus or plus the amount of the magnetic variation is 
marked off with the protractor. A line is drawn joining this mark 
with the spot from which the bearing was taken, and if necessary 
produced. It will be then seen through which feature the line 
drawn passes. 

If plotting numerous bearings on a sketch map as it is being 
made, it will save time if a few lines showing the direction of 
magnetic X. be drawn across the paper (Plate XXXII.). The 
readings obtained with the compass can then be plotted directly 
from them without adding or deducting for the magnetic variation. 

Correcting a Compass. 

It has been shown how bearings are taken from a map in order 
to march directly to anyl given spot, and also what allowances it is 
necessary to make. Before using the compass, however, for any 
purpose, it is, necessary. to know if the instrument itself is accurate. 


Errors may arise in the compass through wear, or they may be initial 
errors, such as want of parallehsm between the axis of the magnetic 
needle and the N. and S. line of the card. Errors such as these will 
not render the compass useless, as the amount can be ascertained and 
allowance made. To do this a bearing is taken on a map from one 
well-defined object to another some miles away. The reading is 
then taken with the compass from one of these selected points to 
the other, and after allowing for the magnetic variation any differ- 
ence between the bearing as given on the map and read by the 
compass will be the error, and must always be taken into account. 

It is advisable to check the compass by several bearings taken in 
different directions. 

All compasses should be checked from time to time. 



Marching by Day. 

In marching by the compass whether in the daytime or at night 
it is important to remember that the instrument must be held 
steadily and away from either metals or other compasses, both of 
which will affect it. 

In windy weather the card of a dry compass is very " lively." 
It is advisable then to kneel when taking a bearing, and support 
the elbow on the knee. Additional steadiness is given if the compass 
is pressed closely to the face. Use the check-spring very gradually, 
and always hold the compass horizontally, or the card will catch 
either on the glass cover or the bottom of the box. 

Do not use the compass in the presence of iron — iron-ore in some 
parts of the world renders the compass valueless. It is well to stand 
as far away as 50 yards from a body of troops with rifles and 
bayonets, and if with a small patrol, men carrying rifles should not 
be allowed to come near. Never stand on an iron bridge or close to 
railings or railway metals. A compass placed on a wooden gate 
may be affected by the hinges and fastenings, and even the wire of the 
service cap has been known to deflect slightly the magnetic needle. 

To march on a given bearing hold the compass to the eye, and 
as soon as the card is steady move the box slowly round till the 
desired reading is seen through the prism. Cast the eye upwards and 
note what distant object is aligned with the slit in the prismatic 
attachment and the hair line on the glass hinged cover, which is 
turned up at right angles to the box. Proceed to the object chosen 
and continue as before, until the final objective is reached. For the 
intermediate objectives which indicate the correct line of direction 
or bearing always pick the most distant conspicuous features visible. 


When there is much " dead ground " to he crossed time can l)e 
saved by sending a man ahead to some prominent position and 
signaUing to him when he is on the correct line of direction. 

In going through woods it is impossible to pick up objects any 
distance away, and trees, though apparently quite distinctive as seen 
through the slit over the prism, cannot be readily identified when the 
compass is moved from the eye. A man should be sent ahead 
showing a piece of white paper, and before he is lost to sight he is 
halted and directed to move to the right or left until on the right 
line of advance. 

Marching by Night. 

It should be remembered that a compass painted with ordinary 
luminous paint must be " charged " before using. This can be done 
either by exposing it to the daylight or any bright artificial light — 
an electric torch will do — or burning magnesium wire. It should 
be charged sufficiently to last for the whole night. 

If using the Service prismatic compass the glass cover with the 
black directing mark is moved round until the setting vane is aHgned 
with the bearing on which it is desired to march, as shown on the 
brass ring round the box. The cover is then clamped. When the 
magnetic N. point, which is made visible by the luminous paint, is 
directly under the black directing mark the two patches of luminous 
paint on the hinged cover indicate the direction in which to march. 
The compass must be so held that the user is standing squarely to 
the line of direction. 

If not a dark night, the lid of the compass must be tilted 
upwards and some object on the skyline noted which is in alignment 
with the luminous patches. If a starlight night, a star should be 
observed which is on the correct alignment. To do this a pencil or 
stick may be held in prolongation of the luminous line. It is 
possible to march on one star for a short time — 5 or 10 minutes — 
and then another should be chosen. 

On very dark nights with no stars visible a guide having a piece 
of paper painted with luminous paint on his back may be sent 


ahead in the right direction and told to halt as soon as he is likely 
to disappear from view. The man using the compass notes the 
position of the guide in relation to the correct line as indicated by 
the luminous patches, and marches himself to what he believes to 
be the right spot. 

If marching by night with troops it is unwise to continually 
halt them whilst examining the compass. To avoid this a file of men 
should walk between the man with the compass and the company or 
platoon. The compass is examined, and, having ascertained the 
direction, the guide sets off briskly for a hundred yards or so and 
the file opens out. When a halt is made to examine the bearing 
again the file closes up, but before the company need halt the man 
with the compass moves off again, the file opens out, and so on 

A file of men between the guide and troops is always an advantage 
as delays are thereby avoided in getting through hedges or round 
ponds and other minor obstacles. To count the paces one man 
should be specially detailed. 

Night marching is simplified by using a liquid compass ; and 
preferably one with the degrees shown in radium paint. 


AVhen a bearing is taken from the map with the intention of 
marching to a given spot it is necessary to look for possible obstacles 
(Plate XXX.). If a lake or marsh should cross the line of direction 
two bearings are required. The first is taken to any point such as 
a building, bend in a road or corner of a wood on one side of the 
obstacle. Through this point a N. and S. line is drawn and a second 
bearing taken to the final objective. If there is no feature shown on 
the side of the obstacle which could be identified on the ground, any 
two bearings must be drawn such as will clear the obstacle, and the 
length in yards of the first bearing must be scaled so that it shall be 
known when marching at what point to change to the second bearing. 

In the case of unforeseen obstacles it is necessary to adjust the 
bearings whilst on the march (Plate XXX.). When the obstacle is 



'encountered, set off at right angles to the original bearing, at the 
same time counting the paces. "When the obstruction is passed 
laterally, proceed on the proper bearing and take up the original 
pacing if marching for a stated distance. When beyond the obstacle, 
march again at right angles, in this case in the diametrically opposite 
•direction to the one taken when the obstacle was first met with, and 
after having marched for the number of paces taken when first turning 
•off at right angles, one will be back on the original line of direction 
and can proceed without further difficulty. If the obstacle is a small 
one there is no need to set off at right angles by the compass ; for a 
short distance the necessary direction can be judged. 

The method just described applies especially to night work. In 
the daytime a point can usually be picked up beyond the obstacle to 
which one can go without taking any further bearings. It may also 
be possible to pick up the line of direction from the far side of the 
obstacle by taking a " back bearing " on to a point left when the 
obstacle was first encountered. A back bearing is the reverse of the 
forward bearing. Thus, if the forward bearing is between 0° and 
180°, 180° will be added; if between 180° and 360°, 180° will be 
deducted, and the necessary bearing is obtiiined. 




It has been pointed out that in map sketching the chief object is 
to obtain a framework of fixed points — generally the most prominent 
objects — about which the details can be filled in Ijy eye. This frame- 
work — in fact more than a framework — is usually obtained by 
enlarging from a small scale map, or it can be obtained l)y drawing 
rays, as for a range card, in the way already explained. In unmapped 
country, or when it is necessary to supplement the information shown 
by existing surveys, with the prismatic compass it is possible to fix 
more or less accurately the position of any number of features. The 
method adopted is called Triangulation, and is that which is used in 
making Ordnance and other maps with an instrument measuring, 
angles to one second, and known as the theodolite. 

The principle of triangulation is simple. If the length of one 
side of a triangle (which may be called the base) and also the two 
angles at the base are known then the length of the two remaining 
sides and position of the apex can be fixed. 

In map sketching by triangulation it is necessary to first choose, 
in a position which is central as regards the area to be mapped, the 
"base line." This is an imaginary line joining two prominent objects, 
and should be over fairly level ground, free from obstructions, so that 
it can be easily paced and as long as it can be conveniently made. 
The ends of the base line must not only be well marked — artificially 
if necessary — and easily seen, but in positions from which good views 
of the surrounding country can be obtained. The bearing and length 
of the base line is noted, and it is drawn to scale and in the proper 
direction on the paper. 

Suitable objects to form points in the framework of the sketch 

G 2 


are chosen from one end of the base line. If these points are visible 
from the other end, compass bearings are taken on to them and 
plotted on the paper. The map-maker then returns to the other 
end of the base line and takes bearings on to the same objects. The 
intersection of these bearings with the first bearings taken will give 
the position of the objects, since each forms the apex of a triangle, 
and so the framework is constructed. 

If the area to be mapped is extensive subsidiary base lines may 
be formed. For these lines joining any two features the positions of 
which have already been ascertained can be used, providing they 
conform to the conditions laid down for the selection of a base. By 
triangulation from the new base line points further afield can be 

In order to obtain accurate results it is necessary that the angles 
formed by the bearings be neither distinctly obtuse nor acute. 

Map making by triangulation can be carried out without a 
prismatic compass if a " plane table " be used. A plane table 
consists of a tripod to which is attached a board or table top. This 
is free to revolve horizontally, thus enabling the sketch to be rapidly 
set when moved to any position. A straight edge or "sighting 
vane ruler " is pivoted in turn on to the points marking the ends of 
the base line and ahgned on to the various objects. Rays are drawn 
on the paper and these take the place of compass bearings. 

Adding Information to Maps. 

AVhilst the making of maps, especially of large areas, by the 
method of triangulation may be the work of specialists only, the 
principles involved will be found useful by anyone to ascertain ranges 
and the position of distant landmarks, or hostile guns, machine-gun 
emplacements, points in the enemy's trenches, redoubts, etc. 
Examples are given on Plates XXXI. and XXXII. 

On Plate XXXII. A. B. represents a trench. The points C. D. 
are definitely fixed on the map, C. being at the junction of a road, and 
D. at the corner of a demolished farm. C. D. therefore can be used 
as a base line. Somewhere to the front an enemy machine-gun is 


noted and observed to be in some bushes. There is nothing however 
to -show the position on the map. Bearings on to the gun are taken 
from C. and D., and, after deducting the magnetic variation, are 
plotted. The intersection shows the position on the map, which can 
now be communicated to a Battery Commander. See also Plate XXXI . 
It is not always necessary that one man should take both bearings. 
Given an extended line of entrenchments accurately shown on the 
map, one man could take a bearing, say of a gun flash, from his 
position, and a second man take the bearing of the same flash from 
another part of the line, perhaps a mile away from the flrst. If both 
bearings and the exact positions from which they were taken are 
known the position of the gun is found. 

One's own entrenchments are not always shown on maps, or, if the 
general line is shown, it may not be absolutely correct for obvious 
reasons. Before taking any bearings, therefore, it is often necessary 
to fix accurately one or two positions in the line — preferably two — to 
form the "base line." These can be found by resection from any 
permanent features. It is wise to have several points thus fixed in 
any line of trenches. 

The object of resection is to fix one's own position exactly from 
two known points. Resection without a compass has already been 
explained on page 64. To resect a position with a compass (Plate 
XXXI.) bearings are taken on to two well-defined objects in the 
country which can be identified on the map. Through the repre- 
sentation of the objects N. and S. lines are drawn, and, after allowing 
for the magnetic variation, the bearings are plotted and produced 
backwards. The intersection marks on the map the point at which 
one is standing. The angle made by the intersection should be 
neither obtuse nor acute ; this should be borne in mind when 
selecting the two objects on which the bearings are to be taken, the 
difl'erence in the two bearings never being less than 40" or more than 
12u°. If standing on a road one's position can be resected by taking 
a compass bearing on one object only. 

Compass bearings can be taken through a periscope. To ensure 
accuracy it is- necessary that the periscope be firmly secured in an 


upright position and that the two mirrors should be in parallel 
planes. With collapsible periscopes unless care is taken the mirrors 
are often not quite parallel to one another. 

When there is nothing to act as a base line for triangulation on 
the map, one can be made by choosing any two points, noting the 
bearing one from the other, and pacing the distance. This line can 
then be drawn to scale and in the proper direction on the paper. 

Various uses to which the method of triangulation can be put 
(such as ascertaining the width of a river) will suggest themselves. 

Positions of objects can be found by taking one bearing only if 
the distance can be ascertained by range-finder or accurate estimate. 


The method of traversing has already been referred to in Map 
Sketching, when it was shown that if an enlargement could not be 
made of a route the sketch could be drawn by taking " rays " with 
a straight edge. Traversing with the compass is more accurate 
(Plate XXXII.). 

As much of the country as possible must be shown on each side 
of the route. The starting point will be at the foot of the sheet, and 
it is necessary that the sketch be so placed that the general direction 
of the road or river will run up the centre of the paper. 

To place a traverse correctly on the sheet the direction of the 
N. Doint must be obtained as follows : — The true bearing of the 
general direction of the route is noted and will be represented by a 
line drawn up the centre of the paper. On this line mark any point. 
Above it place the protractor, and, keeping the arrow head on the 
point, move the protractor round until the degree for the general 
direction of the route is directly over the centre line. The edge on 
which the arrow head is marked will then represent the N. and S. 
line, and a line is drawn accordingly. If the bearing is from 0° to 
180° the direction of N. will be the left of the line, from 180° to 
360° it will be to the right. 

When the position of the true N. and S. line has been thus found 
the magnetic variation should be shown and a series of magnetic 


meridians drawn lightly across the paper. From the meridians all 
the bearings taken in making the traverse, can be plotted directly 
without conversion to true bearings. 

The actual direction of each straight length of the route is 
obtained by taking a compass bearing on to some object at the first 
bend. The first bearing is plotted and the distance to the object paced 
and drawn to scale. From the bend, the position of which is now 
fixed, a second bearing is taken on to another object at the next 
change of direction, the distance is paced, and so on until the traverse 
is complete. For both sharp bends and slight deviations the bear- 
ings may be taken across country to distant points on the road or 
river, and the windings be put in on either side by eye. 

Houses, fences, woods, bridges and other details near to the traverse 
line are put in as the distances are paced. Bearings are taken to 
show the direction of streams or railways crossing the road traversed 
or other roads running into it, and the positions of objects some way 
from the road may have to be ascertained by tri angulation — using a 
length of the traverse as a base — or offsets. An offset is a line set 
off at right angles (usually by eye) to a traverse line. Along it is 
paced, or estimated, the distance to the object required. 

Contour lines may have to be shown, and also indications of 
important positions commanding the route. It may also be advisable 
to mark the gradients of the road. Bearing in mind the object for 
which the sketch is being made, information is shown accordingly 
either on the face of the drawing or by tabulated footnotes. 

On a road traverse each mile should be marked by drawing 
horizontal lines across the paper, numbering them from the starting 

As with all military sketches, a traverse is completed by the 
addition of a suitable heading, signature with date, and scale. 

Traversing may take the place of triangulation for map-making 
when the view is limited, such as in wooded country, and points for 
a framework cannot be fixed. Details of maps may also be filled in by 
this method. 

Traversing is the method adopted in making trench plans. 


Field-Book Notes. 

In the reconnaissance of roads and rivers it is not necessary that 
the traverse should be drawn on the spot ; entries may be made in 
a note-book and the traverse plotted afterwards (Plate XXXIL). 

A " chain column " — two parallel lines | inch apart, representing 
the single line of the traverse— is drawn in the centre of the book. 
The number of the traverse station (the point from which a new 
bearing is taken), the forward bearing and the distance paced are 
noted in this column, and also the distances — which must be inclusive 
for each length of the traverse — to objects close to the road or river 
side, always working upwards from the bottom of the paper. On 
either side of the chain column are shown the features passed, with 
notes as to their positions, etc., and the bearings taken from various 
traverse stations to distant objects. Here also is noted the width of 
the road. 

The notes must be systematic, clear and legible. 

This method is to be preferred to making the sketch as the 
ground is covered in bad weather and when there is only a limited 
time in which to go over the route. 



Trench Sketching. 

The conditions for the making of sketches in trench warfare 
differ from those which obtain in open fighting. 

The general indication of the position of one's own and hostile 
trenches and trench elements may be obtained by aerial photography, 
but there is much valuable information which can only be shown 
adequately by a survey made within and under the cover of the 
trenches themselves. Traversing, therefore, as described for the 
making of route sketches, is the most satisfactory way of making 
trench plans. 

Trench plans must show small details, and are made to larger 
scales than those used in field sketching. The positions of natural 
features of the ground and representation of the relative levels will 
not be required, since they are already shown by the general maps 
of the area, but the trenches themselves, with large scale sections 
and notes of the vaiious features and the system of construction and 
state of repair, are essential. 

Owing to the presence of rifles, machine guns, steel plates and 
steel revetting materials, special care must be taken in the use of the 
compass, and the accuracy of the work should be tested wherever 
possible. In the case of trenches wholly revetted with metal it is 
advisable to make the traverse by taking rays with the straight-edge 
(Road Sketches, p. 54), but normally the compass traverse is quicker 
and better. 

The finished sketch is not made on the spot (unless the traverse 
is made with the straight-edge, in which ca.^e the lines of the trenches 


tliemselves mnst be completed as the work proceeds). A prelimiiiaiy 
rough sketch is made, showing all necessary bearings, dimensions and 
notes, and the whole is drawn out carefully on the completion of the 

The importance of making the preliminary sketches and notes 
systematically is obvious. 

The Compass Traverse. 

What is meant by a compass traverse has already been explained 

The starting point will depend upon how much of the trench 
system is to be shown, Avhether the front line of trenches only is 
required or the support and reserve trenches in addition. In the 
former case a start should be made from one end of the supervision 
trench, and in the latter case it is advisable to start at the rear of 
the system, and preferably from a point which can be identified on 
the available maps of the area. 

A sketch is made in single line of the whole system, which,, 
though it will not be to scale, should be approximately correct in its 
proportions. All trenches should be shown, and dug-outs, latrines,, 
sniping and bombing posts, emplacements, stores, etc. Compass 
bearings of each straight length of trench are then taken, always 
keeping the line of sight in the centre, and the distances are paced 
in yards or taken with a measure, if procurable. The bearings 
(magnetic) and distances are shown on the rough sketch, as indicated 
by the red lines and figures in Plate XXXIII. The positions of 
all features passed are carefully noted in the right place, and the 
dimensions are added. 

A section is drawn of the trench, or several sections if the size& 
and construction vary in different parts. On the sections are figured 
the depth, width at bottom and top, height of fire step, and particulars 
of the parapet and parados and methods of construction are noted. 
If required, sections may similarly be made of dug-outs and emplace- 


The actual fire bays are not traversed with the compass. As the 
positions of all communicating trenches leading up to the firing line 
are fixed by the traverse it is only necessary to count the number of 
fire bays between them, and to note the width and depth of the earth 
traverse between each fire bay, and they can l)e fitted in without 
further measurement on the finished plan (Plate XXXIII.)- 

Points in the enemy's trenches can be fixed by triangulation, and 
this must be done with the compass and periscope. 

Errors will creep in when traversing lines composed of but short 
straight lengths with many changes in direction, and when the 
compass needle may be affected by metals or the pacing is not 
dependable. In order to obtain accuracy in the whole drawing, and 
the proper relation of part to part, the sketch should be checked by 
one or more of the following methods : — 

(1) Comparison with an aeroplane photograph, which will give 
the general proportions correctly. 

(2) Points on the ground. Such natural features as are shown 
on the general map of the area should be noted in their correct 
relation to the trenches. They will accordingly definitely fix the 
position of a certain number of points. 

(3) Cross bearings. A few cross bearings taken from points free 
from enemy observation will, given one or two satisfactory base lines,. 
fix several points accurately, and so form a triangulated framework 
of the whole. 

The exact position of any point in the trenches can be fixed on 
the general map by resection from prominent objects. 

Plotting the Traverse. 

The scale and method of placing the drawing on the paper are 
the first points to be considered. 

The scale, which will be one of yards to the inch, will of course 
be governed by the size of the paper and the area of the trench 
measured. Allowing for the necessary margin, if the greater width 
of the paper be divided into the greater dimension of the nrea of 


ftrencli — frontage or depth — the result, taking the nearest round 
number, will give the desired scale, thus : — 

Area of trench : 520^ by 310^. 

Size of paper (less margin) : 10 in. by 7 in. 

520 4-10 = 53. 

Scale : 50 yards to 1 inch. 

The necessary scales can be drawn from the scale of inches and 
tenths on the service protractor. 

The sketch must be placed on the paper, the top edge of which 
will represent the direction of the enemy, to show conveniently not 
only the whole area, but in some cases points in the enemy's front 
line. The general direction of the firing line will be represented by 
a line parallel to the top edge, and the direction of the N. point is 
found as described in the making of a road traverse (page 102). 

Magnetic meridians are drawn lightly across the paper, and, 
marking the starting point of the traverse in the proper position, all 
the bearings are directly plotted and the several lengths of the 
trenches and positions and dimensions of all features drawn to scale. 
The trenches are shown by two firm pencil lines, indicating to scale 
their width. Those which are in a bad state of repair should be 
shown by colour, and dug-outs and other features under the ground 
are drawn with dotted lines. 

When all the trenches which have been traversed with the compass 
are plotted, the fire bays are drawn as follows (Plate XXXIII.) : 
From the centre point of contact of each communicating trench with 
that forming the firing line draw short perpendiculars. These will 
represent the centres of the earth or sand-bag traverses. Divide the 
space between these lines according to the number of traverses and 
fire bays, and on each of the dividing lines mark off the width and 
•depth of the earth traverse. All that now remains to be done is to 
indicate the width of trench running round the traverse, and the fire 
t)ays, showing the fire steps, are drawn in, linking up the whole line. 

Wire obstacles should be shown by their proper conventional sign. 


Completing the Plan. 

Lettering. — To the plan must be added all necessary lettering and 
notes of the following features : — 

1. Dug-onts. 

2. Headquarters. 
?i. Stores. 

4. Latrines. 

5. Emplacements. 

6. Bombing Posts. 

7. Sniping Posts. 

8. Listening Posts. 

9. Obstacles. 

10. Drainage. 

11. Points of Tactical Importance. 

If the notes are numerous and the scale of the map small, to- 
avoid covering the face of the drawing with lettering reference 
numbers may be used and the information shown at the foot of the 
sketch, or on another sheet, when it may partake of the nature of a 

Sections. — Sections must be shown of the trenches, but to a larger 
scale than that used for the plan, to enable the method of construction 
to be clearly shown Plate (XXXIII.). 

Heading. — The heading should state the name of the regiment 
holding the trenches, and their exact position by map reference. 

Signature. — As on all other military sketches, the signature, with 
rank, regiment and date will be shown in the bottom right-hand 
corner, but as heavy shelling might occur between the time of 
making the sketch and the time of plotting it, effacing trenches 
marked as being in good repair, both the time of making the sketch 
and plotting the finished drawing should be shown. 

Nortlt Point. — Tliis is shown in the top right-hand corner when 
the sketch is first plotted. The magnetic variation must be shown. 

Scale. — This is draAvn and properly figured, at the foot of the paper. 


Abbatis, Couventional Sign PI. xvi 
Abney Level, Description of ... 30 

Contouring with ... ... 30 

Aeroplane Photographs, Use 

of, for Trench Plans 107 

Altitude Tints 24, 61, 62 

Aneroid Barometer, Contour- 
ing with 32 

Army Book 153 ... 9, 17, 45, 48, 74, 
75, 78, 79 
Artillery, Conventional Sign 

PL iii, xvi 

— Positions, Sketches for ... 57 

— Range Cards PL xxi, 73 

Austria, Maps of... 62 

Back Bearing < 98 

Barometer, Aneroid, Contour- 
ing with 32 

Base Line 99,100 

Bearings 77, 91, 92, 93, 95, 97, 100, 
101, 102, 104, 106 

— For Panorama Sketches 

PL viii, 79, 84 

Belgium, Maps of 62 

Bench Mark 29, 34 

Billeting, Sketches for 58 

Bivouacs, Conventional Signs PL xvi 

— Sketches for 58 

Block Letters, Lettering in 

42, 68, 84 
Breastwork, Conventional Sign 

PL iii 
Bridges, Conventional Sign PL ii 

— Hand Sketches of PL xvi, 51, 73 
Brow op Hill 38 

Cavalry, Conventional Signs PL iii 

— Sketching Board 48 

Chain Column 104 

Chalks for Sketching 19, 34, 48, 74, 84 
Check Spring of Service Com- 
pass 88,95 

Chevaux de frise, Conven- 
tional Sign PL iii 

Church, Conventional Sign PL iii 
Clamping Screw of Service 

Compass 88 

Cliffs, Conventional Sign PL iii 

Clinometer, Description of ... 30 

— Contouring with ... 30, 31 

— Improvised 33 

Col, Definition of ... PL iv 

Colours 19, 84 

Communication, Method of show- 
ing PL xvi 

Comparative Scales ... 16, 49 
Compass, Description of 88 

— Types 89 

— Use of 44, 49, 63, 95, 96, 99, 101, 

102, 306, 107 
Completion of Drawings 50, 54, 

94, 103 

Contouring 29 

Contours, Definition 24 

— Explanation of 25 

— Reading 26,37,65,67 

Conventional Signs ... 19,53 

Co-ordinates 68 

C0PYIN3 Maps 48 

Crest Line 38 

Cp.oss Bearings 107 

Cuttings, Conventional Sign PL iii 

Datum for Contouring 32 

Dead Ground 22,84 

Defence of Localities, Sketches 

for 57 

Defensive Position, Sketches 

for 53,57,73 

Definitions PL iv 

Degrees 75,88,92 

Demolitions, Conventional Sign 

PL iii 

Detached Post PL xvi 

Diagonal Scale... 17 



Dip op Compass 89 

Directing Mark of Service 

Compass 88,96 

Direction by Compass ... 95, 96 

— of Enemy ... PI. xvi, 45, 53 

Attack ... ... PI. xvi 

Distances, Estimating 66 

Dividers H, 13, 48,65 

Draughtsmanship 19, 50, 72, 78 

Embankment, Conventional Sign Pl.ii 
Enemy's Tracks, Conventional 

Sign PI. iii 

Enlargement, Map ... 44, 55 

Entanglements, Conventional 

Sign PI. iii 

Error of Compass 93 

Eye Sketching 52, 55 

Fences, Shown on Sketch Maps PI. ii 

— Shown on Panoramas PI. xxvii 

— Notes of 22,49 

Eerry, Conventional Sign PI. ii 

Field Ambulance, Conventional 

Sign PI. xvi 

— Book 104 

— Glasses, Use of ... 52, 76, 82 
^ OF Fire, Method of showing PL xvi 
Fire Bays, Method of drawing 107 
Fir Trees, Conventional Sign 

PL ii, xxvii 
Footnotes 22,50,56 

— Path, Conventional Sign PI. ii 
Ford, Conventional Sign PL ii 
Formations of Ground 23, 33, 50, 


Form Lines, Definition 34 

How shown... 34 

Fortifications PL iii 

"France, Maps of 62 

Germany, Maps of 62 

Gradients, Affecting different 
Areas ... 35 

— Method of ascertaining ... 35 

— Scale of 36 

Graticules 79 

Gravel Pit, Conventional Sign PL iii 
Guns, Conventional Signs PL iii, xvi 

Hachures, Explanation ... 23 

— on Maps ... 23,28,61,62 

Hand Sketches 22, 51, 73 

Headings for Sketches 42, 50, 84, 109 

Heath PL ii, xxvii 

Hectograph, for Reproduction 74 
Heights, Methods of showing 23, 25 

— Ascertaining 29,30,32 

Hills 23, 27, 60, 67 

Hollows 27 

Horizontal Equivalent, Ex- 
planation of ... ... ... 29 

Use of 31, 35, 38 

Horseback, Sketching on 16, 48 

Horse Lines, Conventional sign 

PL xvi 
Identification of Features 63, 65 

— of Targets 73,76 

— of Position 53,64,101 

— in Panorama 85 

Indication of Targets 73, 76 

Infantry, Conventional Signs 

PL iii, xvi 
Information, Sketches to give 

49, 50, 55, 72, 75 
Instruments for Field Sketching 48 
International Map, Scale of ... 12 
Italics, Lettering in ... 42,84 
Italy, Maps of 62 

Knoll, Definition of ... PL iv 

Lakes, Conventional Sign PL ii 

Landmarks 56, 76 

Landscape Sketching ... 72, 73 

Layer Tints 

Lettering... 42, 50, 84, 103, 109 

Level, Contouring with 29, 3S 

Line op Direction of Compass 

63, 89, 96 

and Distance of Objects 

PL xvi, 50, 54 

Sight 95 

Liquid Compass 89 

Luminous Compass ... 88, 89, 96 

Magnetic Bearings 


... 91, 93, 94, 
103, 108 




Magnetic Bearings, Compass 48, 88 

— North 47,63, 90 

Maps, Characteristics of ... 60 

— of Different Countries 61, 62 

— Reading 60, 64, 66, 67, 73 

Marching ry Compass... 95, 96 

Marsh, Conventional Sign PI. ii 

Measurements, Methods of 

making 49, 54, 99, 106 

Meridian, Magnetic 93, 103, 108 

— True 92 

Metres, Scales of 8 

— Length of 11 

Military Sketching 44, 52, 55, 72 
Mounted Troops, Conventional 

Signs PL iii, xvi 

Needle of Compass 63, 88, 90, 91 
Night Marching ... 88, 89, 96 

North Point 47, 53, 54, 102, 108 

— True and Magnetic 90, 92 

— Maps and ... ... 47,64 

Objects, Description of ... ... 84 

Observation, Practice in 50, 73 

— Posts, Conventional Sign PI. xvi 
Obstacles in Compass Marching 97 

— Conventional Sign ... PI. iii, xvi 

Offsets 103 

Oil Compass 89 

Orchards, Conventional Sign PI. ii 
Ordnance Maps 19, 28, 29, 45, 47, 

61, 67, 99 
Outposts, Sketches for ... 53, 56 

— Conventional Signs ... PL xvi 

Paces, Scale of 16,49 

Pacing ... 29,49,54,99.103,106 
Panorama Sketches, Use ot ... 72 

Method of making... 74, 78, 81 

Paper for Sketching ... 48,74 

Pencils for Sketching ... 48, 74 

Periscope, Compass Bearings 

with 101,107 

PiCQUET, Conventional Sign PL xvi 
Plain Scales, Definition of ... 11 

Construction of 12, 13. 14, 15, 



Plan, Hill Features shown on 25, 60- 

— of Trenches 105 

Plane Table, Use of 100 

Plotting Bearings 93, 103, 108 

Points of the Compass 67, 91 

Pole Star 90 

Poplar Trees, Conventional 

Sign PL ii 

Position, IMethod of Finding 64, 101 

— Selection of, for Panorama 

Sketches 74 

— Description of, for Panorama 

Sketches 85 

Printing 42,50,84,109 

Prismatic Compass 48, 63, 79, 88, 

93, 95, 99, 102, 105 

Protractor 17, 42, 46, 48, 54, 63, 

'65, 78, 80, 92, 102, 108 

Quarries, Conventional Sign PL iii 

Railway, Conventional Sign PL ii 

Range Cards 53, 73 

Ranges, Estimating 66 

— Ascertaining, by Triangulation 100 

— on Maps and Panoramas 

PL xvi, 50, 84 

Ray 53,54,64,65,100,105 

Reading Maps ... 27, 28, 37, 60, 64, 

67, 73 
Reconnaissance Sketches 

PL xxiii, 55, 72 
Reconnoitering Patrol, Con- 
ventional Sign ... ... PL xvi 

Redoubts, Conventional Sign PL xvi 

Reducing Maps 48 

Re-entrant, Definition ... PL iv, 27 

— Contouring 30,33 

Reference to Positions 67, 85 
Reports to accompany Sketches 

51, 73, 85 
Representative Fraction 

10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 46, 61, 62 
Resection by Compass 101 

— by Straightedge 64 

Ridge Line 30 

Rivers, Conventional Sign PL ii 

Road Sketches 54,58,102 

Roads, Conventional Sign PL ii^ 



Roads, Indication of Formation 

of Ground 82 

Route Sketches 58 

Ruling Points 52 

Russia, Maps of 62 

Saddle, Definition of ... PL iv 

Salient, Definition of 27 

Sand Pit, Conventional Sign PI. iii 
Scale op Slopes ... 30, 35 
Scales, Definition 8 

— for Military Sketches 8 

Trench Plans ... 105 , 107 

— Methods of Expression ... 9 

— Construction 12,107 

— Time 16 

— Comparative ' 16,49 

Sections, Method of making ... 89 

— of Trenches 109 

Sentry, Conventional Sign PI. xvi 
Service Protractor 17, 42, 46, 48, 

54, 63, 65, 78, 80, 92, 102, 108 
Setting a Map ... 49, 53, 63, 64 

— Vane of Compass ... 88,96 

Sighting Vane Ruler 100 

of Compass 88 

Slopes, Measurement of 30, 35 

Slopes, Scale of ... ... 30, 35 

— Various Formations of Sloping 


Spain, Maps of 26, 38 

Spot Level ... 29, 30, 61, 65 

Squared Maps 08 

Stars, Marching by 90 

Straightedge, Traversing by 54, 105 
Subsidiary Base Lines ... 100 

Sun and North Point 90 

Supply Column, Conventional 

Sign PI. iii, xvi 

— Dump, Conventional Sign PI. xvi 
Symbols Used in Sketching 

PI. ii, iii, xvi, xxvii, 19, 55, 81, 82 

Tactics, Sketches and Maps for 

Tactical Purposes 9, 44, 52, 55, 72 
Targets, Indication of ... 73,76 

— Emphasis of 76,83 

Telescopic Sketches 75 

Telegraphs, Conventional Sign PI. ii 


Time Scales 36 

Transport, Conventional Sign PI. iii 
Traverse of Roads ... 54, 58. 102 

Trenches 105,106 

Trees, Conventional Sign PL ii 

— and Panorama Sketches 

PL xxvii. 82 
Trench ]Mortar 73, 76 

— Plans 1 05 

Trenches, Conventional Signs 

PL iii, xvi 
Triangulation in Map Making 99 

Finding Positions of 

Objects 100 

Triangle op Reference ... 36 
Trigonometrical Station ... 28 
True Bearing 90,92 

— Meridian 92 

True North ... 47,90,91,92 

Tunnels, Conventional Sign PL ii 

Underpeatures, Definition of PL iv 

— Method of Showing 34 

Undulating Ground ... 23,65 

Units, and Signature to Sketches 

50, 85, 109 

— op Measurement ... 11,13,17 

Valleys, Definition ... PL iv, 27 

— Methods of Showing 27 

Variation op Compass 90 

Vedette, Conventional Sign PL iii 

Verst, Length of 11 

Vertical Interval, Definition 29 

Selection of 29, 35 

Villages, Conventional Signs PL iii 

Visibility of Points 37 

Visualising Country ... 60, 67 

Water, Note on Sketches 48, 84 

Watercourse, Definition of PL iv 
Well, Conventional Sign PL iii 

Windmill, Conventional Sign PL iii 
Wind Pump, Convention Sign PL iii 
Woods, Conventional Sign PL ii 

— INlarching through by Compass 96 

Zero Line on Artillery Sketches 

PL xxi 
Clinometer 30 

printed by sifton, praed and CO., limited, 


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Made in three patterns : 

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'Phone: 555 Central. Tele.: "Azimuth," Fen, London. 


book. By Capt. Charles D. Tracy, The King's Own (Royal 
Lancaster) Regiment. 3rd edition. Price 1/- net; (post- 
free, 1/1). 

and A'ohmteers. By Major Gordon Casserly (Indian 
Army). Price ^d. net ; (post-free, Id.). 

MORAL— the most important factor in War. By Lieut.-Colonel 
W. Shirley (Commandant, 2nd x^rtist's Rifles O.T.C.). 
Price C)d. net ; (post-free, 7^/.). 

MAP READING. A Self-Instructional Manual. By Capt. 
L. NoRCOCK and Capt. F. S. Wilson. Price 4/6 net ; (post- 
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and FIRE TACTICS. By Major Ivan B. Davson, City 
of London Yeomanry. Price 1/- net ; (post-free, 1/2). 

GRENADE warfare. Notes on the Training and 
Organization of Grenadiers. By Lieut. G. Dyson, Brigade 
Grenadier Officer, 99th Infantry Brigade. (10th thousand.) 
Price 6^. net ; (post-free. Id.). 

OUT THERE, or the Platoon Commander in Warfare. By 
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Cavalry and Yeomanry Patrols. Arranged by Capt. J. B. 
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ALL MAPS serviceable for military purposes can be obtained 
from SiFTOX, Praed & Co., Ltd., who hold the following 
agencies : — 

Ordnance Survey Maps. These are on various scales, ranging 
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War Office Maps. These are excellent maps of many parts of 
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Admiralty Charts. 

Royal Geographical Society's Publications. 


New Series of Contour Relief Models of the Southern 
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SIFTON, PRAED and Co., Limited, 
The Map House, 67 St. James's Street, London, S.W.